Page last updated at 21:37 GMT, Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Statement on data protection directive

MEPs have been told that new laws on data protection will be a major step in protecting the fundamental rights of EU citizens.

Commissioner Maria Damanaki made a statement to the Parliament on 21 November 2012 on the current state of negotiations towards a data protection directive that is designed to replace the current rules.

Ms Damanaki told MEPs that the new directive would cover both cross-border and domestic data protection.

She said that the present legal framework was "ineffective", as some data was collected from one country and stored in another, meaning it could be covered by two different sets of rules.

"Let us never lose sight of the fact that the protection of personal data is a founding principle of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights," she concluded.

The new directive will include specific rules for the transfer of personal data outside the EU to ensure the protection of data when it is exported abroad, such as passenger name records.

Various administrative requirements, such as notification requirements for companies, will be removed. The Commission hopes this will save businesses around €2.3bn a year.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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