Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

TTIP: Trade agreements must not undermine EU data protection laws, say Civil Liberties MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 aprile 2015

European CommissionThe European Commission should incorporate in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as a key priority, an unambiguous horizontal self-standing provision that “fully exempts the existing and future EU legal framework on the protection of personal data from the agreement”, says the Civil Liberties Committee in its TTIP opinion adopted on Tuesday.The negotiators should also keep in mind that Parliament’s consent to the final TTIP agreement could be endangered as long as the blanket mass surveillance activities are not completely abandoned and an adequate solution is found for the data privacy rights of EU citizens.The Civil Liberties Committee text, which addresses several fundamental rights concerns, will now be send to the International Trade Committee, who will vote on the recommendations to the Commission on the TTIP negotiations in early May.”The most important decision of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee on TTIP is that the agreement needs to foresee a horizontal exception for EU data protection law”, said Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE), Vice-Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee and rapporteur on the TTIP opinion. Ongoing negotiations on international trade agreements, such as TTIP and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), also touch upon international data flows, while excluding privacy and data protection entirely, which will be discussed in parallel track within the framework of the US-EU Safe Harbor and the data protection “umbrella agreement”.Civil Liberties MEPs call on the Commission to incorporate, as a key priority, “a comprehensive and unambiguous horizontal self-standing provision based on Article XIV of the GATS [general exceptions] that fully exempts the existing and future EU legal framework on the protection of personal data from the agreement, without any condition that it must be consistent with other parts of the TTIP”. MEPs also reiterate the need for transparency and accountability in the TTIP negotiations throughout the entire process.
The Commission should ensure a satisfactory conclusion of the Safe Harbor and the data protection “umbrella agreement” negotiations, MEPs say, to guarantee adequate high data protection standards.The negotiators should keep in mind that that the consent of the European Parliament to the final TTIP agreement “could be endangered as long as the blanket mass surveillance activities are not completely abandoned and an adequate solution is found for the data privacy rights of EU citizens, including administrative and judicial redress”, MEPs say, in line with Parliament’s resolution on the surveillance programmes adopted on 12 March 2014

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