Press Release

Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the Group as a whole

Trans-Atlantic Data Flows: Let’s turn words into deeds

, 12.07.2016 - 11:18
US - EU flag

“This is significant progress, which I hope will be instrumental towards bridging the transatlantic digital gap. A protracted stalemate would have jeopardized numerous companies and it would have made the use of many internet platforms and social media more difficult. This reform has the potential to restore a degree of necessary trust. But we’ll first have to put it into practice!”

Following the revelations by Edward Snowden, Viviane Reding, then Commissioner in charge of Justice, launched in 2013 the reform of Safe Harbour, which governed the exchange of data for commercial purposes between the European Union and the United States. Today the Commission formally adopts the “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield”. Even though the new tool is far from perfect, Viviane Reding underlines the improvements in comparison to the previous framework.

This decision clarifies the nature of the data that are stored, the period within which they can be used as well as the conditions of their transfer to third parties, it imposes more rigorous monitoring and oversight (by the American authorities in cooperation with national data protection authorities) and opens more avenues to seek legal redress.

“Nine out of ten European citizens would like to see a higher level of protection for their personal data, whatever the location of the server on which they are stored. This is not an insignificant topic! Personal data have become the new currency of the digital economy. This decision foresees many safeguards for E-consumers.

Now the written commitments should be fully respected and implemented on both sides of the Atlantic. The solidity of the system depends on it, and will have to be judged on the basis of a thorough assessment, taking into account concrete results at the latest in one year, in the context of the yearly joint evaluation. If our American partners don’t keep their promises, the Commission should quickly draw the appropriate conclusions. While doubts persist concerning the access of American public authorities to transferred data, let’s turn this Privacy Shield into a living agreement that can be reinforced where and when necessary, to finally end mass-surveillance!

Europe and the US have to collaborate towards the creation of solid frameworks and international standards, beginning with a state-of-the-art reference framework for data-protection.”

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States

MEP Contacts

Viviane REDING
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845460 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849460

Press Contacts

Jean-Luc Feixa
French press
Phone: + 32 477 680 090


Daphne Caruana Galizia
17.10.2017 - 15:25

Daphne Caruana Galizia: EPP Group calls for full inquiry

"The murder of prominent investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta is tragic proof that the concerns regarding the...
16.10.2017 - 17:51

Breakthrough in EU legislation on posting of workers

“Today, after 18 months of intensive negotiations, we have set up a common position on the posting of workers with clear rights for the more...
Brexit Direction Sign
12.10.2017 - 17:10

Brexit talks: UK government must get a grip on exit bill

There is growing unease in the EPP Group in the European Parliament on the progress in the Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK: ...
Making online shopping easier with fair shipping prices
12.10.2017 - 16:15

Making online shopping easier with fair shipping prices

The European Parliament’s Transport Committee has approved legislation that would require more transparency and closer regulatory oversight of...

Highlights of the week

16.10.2017 - 20.10.2017
Group portrait of industry workers

Towards better protection for posted workers

Members of the Employment Committee on Monday will vote on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive spearheaded by Elisabeth Morin-Chartier...
Syrian Refugees

Solidarity and flexibility should be core in granting asylum

The reform of the Dublin System which sets the rules for granting asylum in Member States will be voted on by the Civil Liberties Committee on...

New system to strengthen Europe's border security

The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on Thursday on 'Establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation System' (ETIAS),...
Niall Downey