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European Commission - Statement

Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová: Concluding the EU Data Protection Reform is essential for the Digital Single Market

Brussels, 28 January 2015

"Today marks the 9th European Data Protection Day. It is a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of protecting personal data, a fundamental right for everyone in the EU.

On this day, citizens and businesses are  waiting for the modernisation of data protection rules to catch up with the digital age. New technologies are emerging fast and have enormous potential for our society and economy. This potential can only be fully realised if people can trust the way their personal data is used. Ensuring trust will allow the European Digital Single Market to live up to its full potential. EU data protection reform, which will cut red tape for business and ensure a single set of rules, is part of the solution.

EU Data Protection reform also includes new rules for police and criminal justice authorities when they exchange data across the EU. This is very timely, not least in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. There is need to continue and to intensify our law enforcement cooperation. Robust data protection rules will foster more effective cooperation based on mutual trust.

We must conclude the ongoing negotiations on the data protection reform before the end of this year. By the 10th European Data Protection Day, we are confident that we will be able to say that the EU remains the global gold standard in the protection of personal data," Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová said.


Background

Every year on 28 January, the Commission celebrates Data Protection Day.

Three years after the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU's data protection rules to make them fit for the 21st century (see IP/12/46), 2015 should be the year of the negotiations' conclusion. The reform presented is a package with two instruments:

- a Regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection

- a Directive on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities.

On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament voted in plenary to back the European Commission's proposal for a data protection reform with an overwhelming majority. The Council of the EU is making considerable progress, having struck three partial general approaches on key aspects of the regulation in 2014. Ministers in the Justice Council must now work to finalise the agreement on the Regulation and make progress on the 'police' Directive within 2015.

For more information, check our factsheet

STATEMENT/15/3801

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