EU justice and home affairs ministers today adopted a common position on the draft EU legislation on data protection at their Council meeting. Following the decision, it was decided that legislative negotiations with the European Parliament will begin on 24 June (1). Commenting on the situation, Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, the European Parliament's draftsman/rapporteur on the data protection regulation, said:
"After over a year of stalling, it is encouraging that we can finally push ahead with the EU data protection reform and that the parliament can begin negotiations with the Council. The challenge is now to reconcile the two different sides to ensure the reform provides reliable and high common standards of data protection, and reach an agreement on this before the end of the year. There are clearly differences, notably as regards the rights afforded to consumers and duties to be fulfilled by businesses. However, if we can engage in constructive and pragmatic negotiations, it should be possible to reach a compromise acceptable to both sides in that timeframe. This would be a result for all sides and show that the EU is taking the concerns of its citizens in the digital age seriously."
(1) The negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission (trilogue) will begin on 24 June with a first meeting at 12.30 (for around 1 ½ hours). Directly afterwards, there will be a press conference with EP draftsperson Jan Philipp Albrecht, EU commissioner Vera Jourova and the current and coming EU presidencies on the roadmap for the negotiations. A separate invitation will be sent for this.