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European Commission - Statement

Building on modern and unified rules to strengthen fundamental rights and create a Digital Single Market - Joint Statement by Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová on the occasion of the 2016 Data Protection day

Brussels, 28 January 2016

"Today, 28 January, marks the 10th European Data Protection day. Exactly one year ago, the European Commission committed to reaching an agreement on EU data protection reform.

"Today, 28 January, marks the 10th European Data Protection day. Exactly one year ago, the European Commission committed to reaching an agreement on EU data protection reform. Less than a year later, in December 2015, we delivered on this promise, reaching a historic agreement with the European Parliament and Council, on rules that guarantee individuals' fundamental right to data protection and create opportunities for businesses and innovation.

The new rules will give citizens stronger rights, allowing them to have better control of their data and ensuring that their privacy remains protected in the digital age.  The digital future of Europe can only be built on trust. Citizens' confidence in the online world is crucial for businesses to tap into big data's vast economic potential. With one streamlined set of rules across the European Union, we will cut red tape and ensure legal certainty, so that both citizens and companies can benefit from the Digital Single Market.

Recent terrorist attacks sadly reminded us of the need for greater cooperation between police and justice authorities across Europe.  The new data protection framework also includes rules to ensure a common level of data protection in this area, which will facilitate exchanges of data to prevent and investigate cross-border crime. This will increase citizens' security; hand-in-hand with a guarantee that the protection of their personal data is safeguarded.

Today we have solid foundations on which we can continue our work to build a Digital Single Market and to allow better and safer flows of data.

These flows are essential, between EU countries, but also between the EU and its closest partners. The European Commission is currently working on a renewed and safe framework on transfers of personal data with the United States. We need an arrangement that protects fundamental rights of Europeans and ensures legal certainty for businesses."


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

The Commission put forward its proposals to modernise EU data protection rules in January 2012 (press release). On 15 December 2015, an agreement on the reform was found with the European Parliament and the Council (press release).

The reform includes 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.

For more information

EU data protection reform

Digital Single Market strategy


Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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