The implementation of the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) is being reviewed by the European Commission with a view to presenting a first report early next year. The review has involved an open consultation exercise in which all interested parties (Member States, Data Protection Authorities, interested groups and citizens) have had the opportunity to express their views.
The consultation culminated in a Conference in Brussels on 30 September and 1 October 2002.
The Conference attracted a lot of interest. The 428 seats available were quickly "sold out" and more than two hundred applications had to be turned down. Experts came from as far away as Australia and Argentina to share their experiences about the application of data protection law in general and the EU Directive in particular.
Commissioner Frits Bolkestein delivered the closing speech at the Conference. He summarised the Commission?s objectives in the review as
- First, the need to provide not only for high but also effective standards of data protection, taking account of the latest technological developments.
- Second, the need to facilitate the free movement of personal data for legitimate uses. This means a more consistent application of the Directive across the Union.
- And third, the principles of "better regulation", with particular reference to legal clarity and legal security and to alleviating any unnecessary administrative burdens.
During the two days of discussions, the Commission listened and learned about the implementation of the Directive throughout the Community. The exchange of views between business representatives, data protection authorities and data subjects' representatives threw up many useful ideas and helped to confirm some trends that were already emerging from earlier phases of the consultation exercise. Many participants welcomed the openness of the consultation process and the opportunity
the Conference provided to
express and debate their views.
All speeches and other relevant material from the Conference are available on the Internet: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/en/dataprot/lawreport/index.htm
Leonardo Cervera Navas
DG Internal Market - E.4
Tel.: + 32 (0) 2 296 58 59
Fax.: + 32 (0) 2 296 80 10