Progress of the EU Data Protection draft Regulation under Italy’s Presidency


London, UK

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UK Roundtable

Host: Latham & Watkins

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The EU Member States have agreed to conclude the negotiations on the EU Data Protection draft Regulation in 2015. The process will have arrived at a critical point by the end of this year. The objective of this Roundtable is to give you a report on the progress achieved under Italy’s Presidency before the baton is passed to Latvia.

Speakers include: 

• Paulo Silva, Legal Officer, Data Protection Reform Team,
   DG Justice, European Commission, Brussels

• David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data
   Protection, Information Commissioner's Officer, UK

• Rory Munro, Head of EU and International Data Protection Policy, the Ministry of Justice, London

• Gail Crawford, Partner, Latham & Watkins, London

• Douwe Korff, Emeritus Professor of International Law, London Metropolitan University and Associate of the
   Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford, speaking on:

Interpreting and Applying the EU DP Regulation consistently throughout the EU
(Chapter VII, section 2, art. 57ff. in the original European Commission version and also in the European Parliament-approved version)

The raison d'etre of the new regulation is harmonisation. But for that it is not enough that the law-on-paper is the same everywhere. The law must also be applied and interpreted in the same way throughout the EU/EEA, or the very benefit the regulation seeks to achieve will be lost. Different interpretations could also cause serious problems with the member states and could even threaten the very fabric of European Union law. If one country were to apply the rules so loosely as to fall short of (say, but in particular) the German constitutional requirements - which are high - then the German courts might intervene, in the way threatened by the famous "solange" (so-long-as) decisions of the 1970s. The consistency mechanism is the tool that is supposed to address that problem. How will it work? What is required if it is to work fully in practice? Douwe Korff will address these issues in the light of the latest text of the regulation.

Agenda subjects proposed by the participants:

We invite you to propose your Top 5 agenda items. Participants may speak on one subject.

Take this opportunity to:
1. Discuss in-depth your company’s and sector’s priorities which may not be reflected in the UK Information Commissioner’s nor the Ministry of Justice’s priority list

2. Provide input to the EU Council of Ministers, the European Data Protection Supervisor at the EU Art. 29 DP Working Party, the UK government and the Information Commissioner.

3. Engage with a broader European perspective by putting your own wish list into a context of data protection law, policies and practices in other EU Member States. On which issues is there a consensus building and on which issues do views from the UK seem discordant and unlikely to succeed? Which battles are worth fighting and which are better left to national room for manoeuvre? 


Photos from 'Progress of the EU Data Protection draft Regulation under Italy’s Presidency', December 2014, London