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European Commission


Athens, 25 June 2014

EU-U.S. Justice Ministerial in Athens: Vice-President Reding welcomes U.S. announcement on data protection umbrella agreement

Commenting on the announcement made by Attorney General of the U.S. Mr Eric Holder [announcing that the Obama administration is seeking to extend to EU citizens guarantees of the Privacy Act which today are only available to U.S. citizens], at the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting in Athens, Vice-President Viviane Reding said:

"The announcement made today by the Attorney General of the U.S. Mr Eric Holder to take legislative action in order to provide for judicial redress for Europeans who do not live in the U.S. is an important step in the right direction.

Legislative action by the U.S. Congress establishing enforceable judicial redress rights for Europeans in the U.S. can open the door to closing the deal on the data protection umbrella agreement.

The U.S. administration is now announcing that it will take legislative action to fill the gap between the rights that U.S. citizens enjoy in the EU today and the rights EU citizens do not have in the U.S. – something which the Commission has been arguing for during the past three years. This is an important first step towards rebuilding trust in our transatlantic relations.

Now the announcement should be swiftly translated into legislation so that further steps can be taken in the negotiation. Words only matter if put into law. We are waiting for the legislative step."

Useful links:

Factsheet on EU-US negotiations on Data Protection

Contacts :

Mina Andreeva (+32 2 299 13 82)

Natasha Bertaud (+32 2 296 74 56)

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