Nominee for EU Commissioner on data protection questioned by European Parliament

Vĕra Jourová, candidate for the post of EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said in a European Parliament hearing yesterday that she would ‘strive for the adoption of the [data protection] reform package within the first six months of my mandate should I be confirmed.’

Jourová told the Parliament: ‘I welcome the European Parliament vote in first reading, which supports the structure and the main elements of the reform. The partial general approach agreed in the Council in June this year is another important step forward. It indicates that we are very close to a common position of the Member States. It shows that all three institutions have understood the importance of the reform for the rights of Europe's citizens as well as for the growth of its businesses.’

She also said that the success of the EU-US agreement for data protection in the framework of judicial and police cooperation for criminal matters (so-called "Umbrella agreement") depends on whether the US will guarantee EU citizens rights of effective judicial redress regardless of nationality or residence.

‘The US Administration has committed itself to legislation that would provide EU citizens with the guarantees given to US citizens and residents in the US Privacy Act. If legislation is adopted, this would be a major breakthrough, a step that the Union has been fighting for the past 10 years,’ she said.

Jourová is a lawyer and currently the Czech Republic’s Minister for Regional Development. It is proposed that in the new EU Commission, data protection/privacy issues would be dealt with by several commissioners (Jourová, Andrus Ansip, nominated as Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, and Günther H. Oettinger, nominated as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society).

Each candidate for the EU Commission is currently being assessed by the European Parliament committees that deal with their portfolio. So far, the Committee has not given its verdict on Jourová but has asked for further information, Richard Corbett, MEP tweeted this afternoon.

Read more about the developments on the EU draft Data Protection Regulation in the next issue of PL&B International Report

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

PL&B has organised a Roundtable with the current Chair of the DAPIX Committee for the Council of Ministers, the ICO, the UK Ministry of Justice and the European Data Protection Supervisor in London on 11 December 2014. Learn about the latest stage of negotiations.