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The European Council

January 2014

The start of 2013 was full of promise. Early in 2013 an informal gathering of EU justice ministers highlighted the following issues within the draft EC data protection regulation as being the most significant:

  • the right to be forgotten;
  • the planned sanctions regime – whether fines should be the only sanction available or the last step in a series of measures; and
  • whether the scope of the household exemption should be extended.

The then Irish Presidency produced its own re-draft of the Regulation (the so called 'Irish Draft') which initially dealt with parts I to IV of the Regulation but was then updated as evidenced by a leaked document. Again a significant number of changes were proposed, including discretion in terms of sanctions and watered down data breach provisions.

Yet, by December European Justice Ministers asked  for more time to reach a final decision on the 'one stop shop' proposals under the EU data protection reform proposals. Under the draft EC data protection Regulation, organisations would be regulated by a single data protection authority and would not have to comply with the regimes of 28 different member states.

commentThe legal advisor to the European Council criticised the proposals for being beneficial to organisations but detrimental to the rights of individuals, saying a system with a lead authority would result in confusion in the courts and difficulties for individuals trying to enforce their rights. Germany was particularly adamant that a 'one stop shop' could lead to a watering down of its consumer protection rights.

There was disagreement among member states as to whether the lead authority to decide cases would be that of the organisation's home country or that in which the complaint was made. France and Croatia advocated a co-decision model under which national regulators would make joint decisions.

The inability to reach an agreement on the 'one stop shop' proposals has made it almost inevitable that the reforms will  be delayed.

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The European Council
Debbie Heywood

Debbie
Heywood
      

Sally Annereau

Sally
Annereau
         





Debbie and Sally look at key points of issue with the draft Regulation for the European Council.