GDPR is a top priority for the EC this year – Juncker

JunckerThis morning (Wed 9 September 2015) European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has revealed the priorities in the business of the European Commission and this includes reform of Europe’s data protection and privacy laws against the backdrop of a connected single digital market.

Juncker indicated in his speech today as well as in an open letter to European Parliament, co-signed by Frans Timmermans, first Vice President of the European Commission that “over the next few weeks the Commission will engage actively with the European Parliament and the Council to take forward discussions on these issues.”

In a ten-point priority list, Juncker clearly signalled the reform of data protection and privacy and the single digital market as being on the top of priorities that will dominate discussions over the coming weeks and months.

Priority 2 – A Connected Digital Single Market

  • Working with the co-legislator on the swift adoption of the Data Protection Reform and the Network and Information Security proposals.

Priority 7 – An area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust.

  • Conclusion of the of the EU-US Data Protection Umbrella Agreement (including judicial redress for the EU citizens in the US)

Priority 10 – A Union of Democratic Change

  • Conclusion of the negotiations for an Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and Commission on Better Regulation by the end of the year.

“Better Regulation will remain our guiding principle when preparing these new initiatives. We must keep our rules up to date and relevant,” explains Juncker.

He adds: “…In light of the magnitude of the challenges ahead, all three institutions need to concentrate their efforts and energy on moving swiftly forward on those key files which have the potential to make a real difference to the daily lives of citizens and businesses.

“…In a spirt of improved joint programming, the Commission will seek to work with the European Parliament and the Council to identify key pending and forthcoming proposals to be prioritised and accelerated in the legislative process, notably those which are addressing the refugee crisis and the need to enhance jobs and growth. A list with candidates for prioritisation will be annexed to the Commission Work Programme 2016.”

Key milestones

  • 14 September 2015 –General Affairs Council Meeting
  • 6 October 2015 – Conference of Committee Chairs Meeting
  • 22 October 2015 – Conference of Presidents Meeting

In conclusion, Juncker and Timmermans state: “We count on your partnership to rise to Europe’s considerable challenges together and deliver results. Our citizens expect and deserve nothing less.”

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