EU Council worries that data protection reform is too fast

By EDRi · November 6, 2013

The recent EU Council allegedly decided to slow down the speed of the reform of data protection arguing that it was moving too fast. Germany, for example, was reportedly worried about "not moving too quickly". By a strange coincidence, this is exactly the same argument used by the main lobbying groups. However, if the data protection reform is moving too "quickly", it is difficult to imagine what "slow" might look like.

The process of reforming the European data protection framework started in 2009 with a stakeholder consultation, followed by another consultation in 2011, a 119-page Communication from the Commission in 2011, a resolution from the Parliament in 2011, a proposal from the Commission in January 2012 and a vote of the responsible committee in the European Parliament in October 2013.

Each Member State government in the EU has developed a negotiating position and took part in working groups, discussions and numerous meetings with lobbyists.

The following non-exhaustive list describes the steps that were taken until now by each institution. Direct links are not provided for all items but one can check every event against the institutions’ websites.

The following European Parliament Committees have already carried out analyses of the proposals and finalised their respective views of the dossier:

IMCO – Internal Market and Consumer Protection ITRE – Industry, Research and Energy JURI – Legal Affairs EMPL – Employment LIBE – Civil Liberties

  1. Commission

      - May 2009 Launch of a public consultation by the Commission
      - November 2010 First Commission's memorandum on data protection
      - June 2011 Speech of Vice-President Viviane Reding at British
        Bankers' Association Data Protection and Privacy Conference
      - November 2011 Speech of Vice-President Viviane Reding at
        Industry Coalition for Data Protection - American Chamber of
        Commerce to the European Union
      - January 2011
            - End of the second public consultation
            - Official discussion with the Council and
        Member States representatives
      - May 2012 Speech of Vice-President Viviane Reding at Spring
        Conference of European Data Protection Authorities
      - June 2012 Justice Council
      - December 2012 Speech of Vice-President Viviane Reding at the
        Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference
      - January 2012: Proposal of the Commission with impact
        assessment, factsheets and public opinion surveys
      - February 2013 The Proposed General Data Protection
        Regulation: The Consistency Mechanism Explained
      - March 2012
            - Commission MEMO for Justice Council
            - Speeches of Vice-President Viviane Reding in the
        Justice Council and at the Annual Cloud Computing Conference
            - Meeting with German Minister of Interior on data
      - June 2013 Vice-President Reding's intervention during Justice
        Council Press Conference
      - October 2013 Vice-President Reding's intervention at the
        Justice Council on the data protection reform and the
        one-stop shop principle
  2. Council of the European Union (id est Council of Ministers)

      - January 2011 Official discussion with Commission and Member
        States representatives
      - May 2012 Informal dinner of Heads of State or Government
      - June 2012 Debates in Home and Justice Affairs and Economic
        and Financial Affairs
      - September 2012 Debates in Economic and Financial Affairs,
        General Affairs and Home and Justice Affairs
      - October 2012 Debate Home and Justice Affairs
      - November 2012 Debate Home and Justice Affairs
      - December 2012 Legislative deliberations and press release.
        Progress report of the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of
        the European Union.
      - February 2013 Comparative table: Commission proposal for a
        General Data Protection Regulation - 1995 Data Protection
      - March 2013
            - Legislative deliberations and note from the Council
        Presidency on the implementation of risk-based approach and
        flexibility for the Public Sector
            - Debate Home and Justice Affairs
      - May 2013
            - Compromise Text Proposed by the Irish Presidency
        (Chapters I-IV) and note from the Irish Presidency
            - Debate Economic and Financial Affairs
      - June 2013
            - Debate Home and Justice Affairs
            - Council conclusions following the Commission
        Communication on the European Information Exchange Model
      - July 2013 Working group on Information Exchange and Data
        Protection (DAPIX)
      - October 2013
            - Debate Home and Justice Affairs and discussion with
        Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding
            - Council supports "one-stop-shop" principle
            - Conclusions and statements of Heads of State and
      - Autumn 2013 Informal negotiations with the European Parliament
  3. European Parliament

      1. Draft opinions
            - September 2012 IMCO
            - October 2012 JURI
            - November 2012 EMPL and ITRE
      2. Final opinions
            - January 2013 IMCO
            - February 2013 ITRE
            - March 2013 EMPL and JURI
      3. IMCO, JURI, EMPL and ITRE hearings, meetings and studies
            - May 2012 ITRE exchange of views
            - June 2012
                  - IMCO working group on E-Commerce, including
      data protection
                  - IMCO exchange of views
            - July 2012 JURI debate
            - November 2012
                  - ITRE debate
                  - IMCO debate
                  - EMPL debate
                  - JURI debate
            - December 2012
                  - IMCO debate
                  - ITRE hearing of industry and civil society
                  - ITRE study on «Impact on EU Innovation and
      Competitiveness» of the European Data Regulation
                  - JURI exchange of views
            - January 2013
                  - ITRE debate
                  - EMPL debate
                  - JURI debate
            - February 2013
                  - EMPL debate
                  - JURI debate
            - September 2013 ITRE study on «Data and Security
      Breaches and Cyber-Security Strategies in the EU and its
      International Counterparts»
  4. LIBE report

            - January 2013 Draft
            - March 2013
                  - 3133 amendments to draft report
                  - Rapporteur's draft report on amendments
                  - Vote postponed
            - June 2013 Vote postponed again
            - October 2013 Vote
      5. LIBE hearings, meetings and studies
            - September 2011 Study: «Towards a New EU Legal
      Framework for Data Protection and Privacy       - Challenges,
      Principles and the Role of the European Parliament»
            - February 2012 Committee referral announced in
      Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
            - May 2012
                  - Workshop (industry, civil society and
                  - Exchange of views with the Commission
            - July 2012 Working Document 1
            - October 2012 Working Documents 2 and 3
            - March 2013
                  - Study: «Protection of Personal Data in
      Work-Related Relations»
                  - Debate with European Data Protection
      Supervisor, Article 29 Working Party, Irish Presidency and
      Commission's and Council's representatives
            - May 2013
                  - Meeting with European Data Protection
                  - Debate
            - June 2013
                  - Exchange of views with Commissioner for
      Justice, Viviane Reding
                  - Meeting on Passenger Name Record and Data
      protection regulation
            - July 2013
                  - Debate
                  - Meeting with Lithuanian Presidency of the
            - September 2013
                  - Four Inquiry Meetings on PRISM scandal
                  - Leaflet with studies related to Data
            - October 2013
                  - Three Inquiry Meetings on PRISM scandal
                  - Interparliamentary Committee Meeting
                  - Study on Mass surveillance
      6. Others
            - September 2012 Directorate General for Internal
      Policies on Economic and Scientific Policy of the European
      Parliament, Study on «Reforming the Data Protection Package»
            - May 2013 European Parliament Policy Department
      Studies on Data Protection Issues – Leaflet and Seminar
            - September 2013 Directorate General for Internal
      Policies on Economic and Scientific Policy of the European
      Parliament, Study on «The US surveillance programmes and their
      impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights»
  5. National Parliaments

      - March 2012 Resolution of the French Senate, Reasoned Opinion
        of the Swedish Parliament and Decision of the German
      - April 2012 Reasoned Opinion of the Italian Chamber of
        Deputies and Reasoned Opinion of the Belgian Chamber of
      - May 2012 Letter from the Dutch Senate Standing Committee for
        Immigration & Asylum/Justice and Home Affairs Council and
        Final Statement of the Czech Senate
      - October 2012 Report by the UK Justice Select Committee
  6. Others

      - January 2012 Opinion of Article 29 Working Party
      - February 2012 Opinion of European Union Agency Fundamental Rights
      - March 2012 Opinion of European Data Protection Supervisor
      - July 2012 Opinion of European Economic and Social Committee on the General Data Protection Regulation and of Article 29 Working Party

    Council worried about moving too quickly (31.10.2013)…

    Lobbyists worried about moving too quickly (31.10.2013)…

    (Contribution by Xavier Gillard, EDRI intern)