EU justice ministers agree on data protection directive

Brussels, Oct 9 (IANS) The European Union (EU) justice ministers on Friday sealed an overall agreement on the EU’s draft data protection directive for the police and criminal justice sector.

The agreement enables the Luxembourg presidency to start discussions with the European Parliament on this part of the data protection package, Xinhua quoted the Council of the EU as saying.

Moreover, the other part of the package is the general data protection regulation, on which talks with the parliament have already started after the council agreed its position in June 2015.

The draft directive is aimed at protecting personal data processed for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal offences or the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security, said the Council.

The new directive would apply to both, the cross-border processing of personal data as well as the processing of personal data by the police and judicial authorities at purely national level.

The new rules would enhance mutual trust between police and judicial authorities within the EU, as current EU rules apply to the cross-border transfer of personal data only, which created difficulties for police and other law enforcement authorities in the areas of judicial co-operation in criminal matters and police co-operation, emphasised the Council of the EU.

The European Commission welcomed the agreement, saying “today’s agreement means the EU is fully on track to finalise its data protection reform by the end of this year, as called for by the European Council”.

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