Commission refuses to do an impact assessment on the data retention

By EDRi · February 2, 2006

In a public answer to a written question by Charlotte Cederschiöld (PPE-DE)
on timeframe of the impact assessment of the Data Retention Directive, the
European Commission has stated that such an assessment will not take place
because ” it will not provide any added value”.

The European Parliament has adopted on 14 December 2005 a version of the
Data Retention Directive, including in the paragraph 2 of the Resolution the
necessity of a prior impact study of the directive: “Calls on the Commission
for an impact assessment study covering all internal market and consumer
protection issues”

The original text of the paragraph, as suggested on 28 November 2005 was ”
Calls on the Commission, prior to the entry into force of this Directive, to
commission an impact assessment study from an independent body representing
all stakeholders, covering all internal market and consumer protection
issues ”

Right after decision of the Parliament, the MEP Charlotte Cederschiöld
(PPE-DE) asked the Commission already on 15 December when it intended to
begin and complete the impact assessment of the Directive.

The answer, received on 31 January, from the Commission considers that “an
impact assessment cannot, at this stage, have an influence on the content of
the legal instrument, given the fact that an agreement on the Directive has
just been reached between the Council and the Parliament. This means that
the legislative process at the European level is completed, and that an
additional assessment of the impact of the instrument at the European level
will not provide new elements. This is of course without prejudice to the
possibility of Member States to carry out an impact assessment with respect
to the national implementation of the Directive, given the fact that the
Directive does leave some elements of choice to the Member States in the
national implementation process.”

The answer also makes reference to the evaluation of the Directive, as
foreseen in the Article 12 of the adopted text that “will be made within
three years after its implementation period.”

However, the Commission is considering the set-up of a working group on this
matter. “The Directive also provides for an obligation for the Commission to
examine all observations communicated by the Member States or the Article 29
Data Protection Working Party. It is expected that further discussions on
the issue will also have taken place within the group to be set up by the
Commission and to be composed of law enforcement representatives,
associations of the electronic communications industry, Parliament
representatives and data protection authorities, including the European Data
Protection Supervisor (see also Recital 14).”

European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a directive
of the European Parliament and of the Council on the retention of data
processed in connection with the provision of public electronic
communication services (14.12.2005)

Question from MEP Charlotte Cederschiöld (PPE-DE) on Data retention
directive (15 12 2005)

Answer given by Mr Frattini on behalf of the Commission on Data retention
Directive ( 31.01.2006)

EDRI-gram : European parliament adopts data retention directive (18.01.2006)

Extended Impact Assements – Annex to the Proposal for a Data Retention
Directive (21.09.2005)