Presidency statement on outcome of discussions on EU–US working group

19 July 2013, Last updated at, 13:49 EEST
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author: PantherMedia/Scanpix

Permanent Representatives of the EU member states at Coreper have agreed on July 18 on the remit and composition of the EU side in the ad hoc working group tasked with discussing questions of data protection. Following the launch of the process in Washington D.C. on July 8, the working group is to hold its first meeting on July 22–23 in Brussels.

The EU side will be co-chaired by the Commission and the Presidency. The Chairs will in due course report to the Coreper which will decide on the follow-up to the outcome of the group.

The EU side will be composed of the Presidency, the Commission, the Counter-terrorism Coordinator, EEAS, a member of the Article 29 Working Group and up to ten Member State experts.

It was also agreed that, naturally, interested Member States may discuss with the US bilaterally matters related to their own national security and may coordinate their positions if they wish to do so.

It is the competence and the responsibility of the EU Institutions to raise with the US authorities, where appropriate, the issues related to the alleged surveillance of their premises. Member States may also take into account that these are common institutions in their contacts with the US.

Coreper has discussed the modalities through which EU institutions and Member States will have the possibility to exchange information and coordinate their dialogues on a voluntary basis.

It is important that the Member States and EU institutions conducting such dialogues with the US, as well as participants in the group discussing data protection, exchange information where appropriate.


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