Data Protection Issues were Dominating during the Visit of Juozas Bernatonis to Brussels

05 September 2013, Last updated at, 16:24 EEST
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author: Council of the European Union

On Thursday, Lithuanian Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis met with Vice-President of the European Commission (EC) Commissioner of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding and Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament (EP) Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar.
In the meetings with V. Reding and J. F. L. Aguilar, J. Bernatonis noted that the Data Protection Package, i.e. Regulation and Directive, is the priority of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

"During the informal meeting of EU justice ministers in Vilnius in July we heard from the ministers about the importance of this package of legal acts and the need to modernize the existing rules. However, a number of ministers stated that quality of the legal act should not be sacrificed to speed, and emphasized that there was still much work to be done by the experts from 28 Member States. Therefore, Lithuania, holding Presidency over the EU Council, is following this approach," said Mr. Bernatonis.

Vice-President of the Commission and the representatives of the European Parliament underlined the importance of this package to the citizens of the European Union. They also expressed their readiness to look for prompt solutions in order to reach an agreement on this package by the end of the term of this European Parliament.

J. Bernatonis stressed that the Presidency of the Council of the EU is prepared to put all necessary efforts and cooperate closely with Member States to achieve progress in the negotiations on this draft. Currently, Lithuania has planned 17 working days of expert meetings for this package.

During the Presidency of the Council of the EU in July Lithuania started intensive work on the provisions of the Regulation relating to the transfer of personal data to third countries as well as ensuring consistence application of future data protection rules in the single market. Later, at the end of September the detailed analysis of the proposed new rules for the application of administrative sanctions will start. In October during the Justice and Home Affairs Council the important input of Ministers in the negotiations on these issues is expected. It is foreseen that this discussion would enable to approach possible solutions regarding these chapters. At the same time, the second reading of the Directive text is being actively continued.

On January 25, 2012 the European Commission proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU's data protection rules that date back to 1995. The Commission proposes to substantially update and modernize the currently valid principles of the Data Protection Directive.

The package consists of two legislative proposals: Regulation, establishing a common EU data protection framework, and the Directive on the protection of personal data, in case the data is processed for the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of criminal offenses and related judicial activities purposes.

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