Sunday

17th Dec 2017

EU ministers to fall short on data protection bill

  • EU ministers are not expected to make much progress on the data protection reforms (Photo: luc legay)

After months of haggling and 26 meetings since January, EU ministers are unlikely to reach an agreement this week on a key component of the EU’s draft data protection bill.

National negotiators are still unclear on how to streamline data protection oversight via the bill’s so-called ‘one-stop-shop mechanism’.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The issue had already derailed negotiations at a meeting in the Council, representing member states, last December.

“The discussion hasn’t moved on to be honest since the last Council,” said an EU official on Tuesday (3 June).

Instead, justice ministers are expected to reach a consensus on other less contentious issues when they meet Friday morning in Luxembourg to discuss the bill, which aims to turn the EU’s 1995 data protection directive into a more powerful regulation.

An EU presidency source said it “is out of the question” of finalising the one-stop-shop in Luxembourg.

The proposal is important because it harmonizes decision-making across the bloc.

It entitles EU citizens to complain about data mishandling by internet firms to their national data protection authorities instead of seeking more expensive redress in the country where the company is based.

It also allows companies to tackle EU-wide data cases through the data chief in the EU country in which they have their HQ, instead of dealing with 28 different EU authorities.

Member states in December had already clashed over the issue after the Council’s legal services said it would be overly complex and too expensive to implement.

At the time, EU commissioner for justice Viviane Reding described the blockade as a step backwards for data protection rights.

The Commission, for its part, says the one-stop-shop is needed because it will cut red tape and lead to savings for businesses.

Partial agreements are still expected.

Ministers are likely to move ahead on rules governing the transfer of personal data outside the EU.

They are also likely to agree that the reformed data protection rules should apply to all companies, even if located outside the EU.

An EU source said the expected agreements on Friday are likely to “be heavily caveated”, leaving open the possibility of changes in the future.

But any discussion on the European Court of Justice ruling against the US internet giant Google are off the table.

The court last month ruled in favour of a Spanish national for the company to delete personal data relating to him from its search results.

Google has since launched a dedicated website where EU nationals can make requests to have certain personal data de-listed.

The company on Tuesday said it had received some 41,000 requests to take down personal data in the first four days of the website’s launch, reports the Wall Street Journal.

EU ministers back key pillar in data reform bill

Member states on Thursday (4 December) reached a broad consensus on a key area of the EU’s reformed data protection bill but some problems remain for the next EU presidency to resolve.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

News in Brief

  1. EU adopts 'track-and-trace' tobacco system
  2. Luxembourg appeals Amazon tax decision
  3. EU leaders agree to open phase 2 of Brexit talks
  4. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  5. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  6. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  7. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  8. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  2. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  3. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  4. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June
  5. EU stresses unity as it launches next phase of Brexit talks
  6. Polish PM ready for EU sanctions scrap
  7. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  8. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states