The EU Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) voted to adopt its report on the draft General Data Protection Regulation and the separate Directive for the law enforcement sector. This vote sets out the Parliament’s position for its negotiations with the Council and Commission (known as the “trialogue” stage). The Committee aims to have a plenary Parliamentary vote in March before the Parliamentary elections.
The report contains significant amendments compared with the original draft prepared by the European Commission in January 2012. The vote now permits the Parliament to proceed to the trialogue negotiation with the Council and Commission once the Council has reached an agreed position. Previously the high number of amendments (approximately 4,000) proposed by the Parliament to the legislation had given rise to concerns that the Regulation would not be passed before the next European elections. Now that the European Parliament has made its position known, pressure will shift to the Member State governments to reach agreement on a position within the European Council. Once a common position is reached, negotiations can begin with the European Parliament and Commission.