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Brussels, Wednesday 6 April 2011

European Data Protection Commissioners insist on the need for a comprehensive EU approach to data protection

On 5 April 2011, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and the Chairman of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party(*) hosted the annual Spring Conference of European Data Protection Commissioners in Brussels, involving data protection authorities from EU and non-EU Member States, as well as various authorities at EU level.

The central theme of the Conference was the current review of the data protection legal framework. The Conference adopted a Resolution in which it stressed the need for a comprehensive data protection framework, which includes the law enforcement sector.

The Conference recalls that the challenges are enormous, due to globalisation and trans-border flows of personal data, the development of technology especially in the on-line world as well as developments in the police and justice sector. The efforts to modernise and reinforce the different legal frameworks - not only in the EU, but also in the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development - should develop in synergy.

In their Resolution, the European Data Protection Commissioners consider that all these developments offer tremendous opportunities for a real improvement of the data protection framework, offering effective protection to all individuals under all circumstances, not only now but also in a more distant future.

The time has come to be ambitious and join forces for comprehensive and more effective data protection, so they state.

As a first result of this statement the Commissioners decided to develop synergy to achieve a more horizontal approach in the area of freedom, security and justice. The Working Party on Police and Justice and the Article 29 Working Party will work together to integrate their EU related tasks in the coming year to reinforce the effectiveness of their advisory role.

(*) The Working Party is composed of the representatives of the data protection authorities in the EU Member States. It provides the European Commission with independent advice on data protection matters and helps in the development of harmonised policies for data protection in the EU.

The Resolution (pdf) is available on the EDPS website. For more information:

EDPS - The European guardian of personal data protection

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