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EU Data Protection Reform Aims To Protect Privacy Of Citizens And Promote Growth Of Digital Economy

European Union justice ministers have on October 7 in Luxembourg discussed how to ensure efficient data protection benefitting citizens and businesses and approved an agreement regarding a Directive on the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting by criminal law, which is one of Lithuanian Presidency priorities in the area of justice.

Discussing the data protection reform, ministers presented their positions on the so-called “one-stop-shop” principle, which is one of the key issues in the proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation. This principle would set that the company operating in more than one EU member state would cooperate only with single data protection supervisory authority in the country where it has its main establishment.

Chaired by Minister of Justice of Lithuania Juozas Bernatonis, ministers agreed that further expert discussions should be based on a model where a single supervisory decision is to be taken by the supervisory authority of the main establishment; however, that exclusive jurisdiction of this authority might be limited to a certain extent. To ensure that cutting the red tape for businesses would not affect the protection of individual rights, it was agreed to continue exploring ways how to further ensure proximity between individuals and decision-making authorities. Experts will also continue examination of the role and powers of the future European Data Protection Board.

“I would like to say that the Council generally supports the principle that the draft regulation should provide for “one-stop-shop” mechanism in important cross-border cases to arrive at a single decision in respect of companies operating in several Member States. The aim is to develop a simple, fast mechanism that would contribute to a more consistent application of the data protection rules in the EU, to ensure legal certainty and reduce the administrative burden. This is an important factor to enhance the cost-efficiency of the data protection rules for international business, thus contributing to the growth of the digital economy,” said Minister Bernatonis.

The Council agreed on the Directive establishing criminal law sanctions for counterfeiting of the euro and other currencies and strengthening cooperation of law enforcement institutions in this area. The Council is now ready to launch the trialogue with the European Parliament and the European Commission (EC).

“This is really a very significant agreement, which, thanks to the constructive work, was achieved in a very short period of time. This document is especially important for ensuring a more secure European currencies union,” said Minister Bernatonis.

European Commission proposals on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and on the reform of EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) were presented to the EU Justice Ministers. The Proposal on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office is one of the priority issues in the criminal justice area during the Lithuanian Presidency. Ministers shared their views and defined guidelines for further discussions at expert level.

“It is estimated that each year, the EU budget loses hundreds of millions of euros due to offences affecting the European Union’s financial interests. The presented proposals of the European Commission should contribute to proper protection of the EU taxpayers’ money,” said J. Bernatonis.

IN THIS CONTEXT:

The biggest event on intellectual property in the Baltic will take place in Vilnius
The event will take place on 8-9 October, 2013 at Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square Vilnius, Universiteto st. 14, Vilnius.
More information about the program and speakers of the conference is available at official website www.ipconference.lt.