Review of the data protection legal framework
When developing policy and legislation, the European Commission consults widely with EU citizens and stakeholders through public consultations.
The Commission is currently in the process of reviewing the general EU legal framework on the protection of personal data. The main policy objectives for the Commission are to:
- Modernise the EU legal system for the protection of personal data, in particular to meet the challenges resulting from globalisation and the use of new technologies;
- Strengthen individuals' rights, and at the same time reduce administrative formalities to ensure a free flow of personal data within the EU and beyond;
- Improve the clarity and coherence of the EU rules for personal data protection and achieve a consistent and effective implementation and application of the fundamental right to the protection of personal data in all areas of the Union's activities.
For that purpose, the Commission organised in May 2009 a wide stakeholders' conference on data protection and launched a public consultation about the future legal framework for the fundamental right to protection of personal data in the EU. The public consultation was concluded in December 2009. Consult the results [167 KB] .
Further targeted stakeholders' consultations were held in 2010.
On 4 November 2010 the Commission adopted a strategic Communication on a comprehensive strategy on data protection in the European Union (COM(2010)609 [106 KB] , Press release and Memo ), highlighting its main ideas and key objectives on how to revise the current rules on data protection.
A public consultation was held until 15 January 2011 on the proposals included in the Commission's Communication.
Joint High Level meeting on Data Protection "Data protection: from European to international standards"
On 28 January 2011, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and its Member States celebrated Data Protection Day for the fifth time. This event provided the opportunity to hold discussions about future European rules on data protection as well about international standards.
Data protection issues, including their cross-border dimension, are for ever present in individuals' lives - at work, in their relations with public authorities, in the health field, when they buy goods or services, when they travel or surf the Internet.