The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament (EP)– the EP’s lead committee for the European Commission’s legislative proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation to replace the current EU Data Protection Directive–was supposed to vote at the end of April on the proposed amendments to the draft Regulation. However, since the release of the rapporteur’s draft report on the proposed Regulation (see InsidePrivacy Draft report on the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation released, January 8, 2013) more than 3,000 amendments have been proposed by the different parliamentary committees involved in the process. The rapporteur, Green Member of the EP (MEP) Albrecht, has now been tasked to boil the proposed changes down to 100 compromise amendments. The date for the LIBE Committee vote has therefore been postponed to 29 May 2013.
Despite this delay, MEPs are still hopeful to find an agreement with the EU Member States in the Council on the proposal before the elections in May 2014. This will require a huge effort by both the EP and the Council, which both seem to be split into two camps: on the one hand those who are pushing for a stricter set of rules, which reinforces both obligations of companies and rights of consumers and provides for increased enforcement powers, and on the other hand those who want to lower the burden for businesses. The latter camp seems headed in the same direction as the Council with its recent calls for introducing a more risk-based approach into the proposal (see InsidePrivacy The Battle Lines are Clearing Up: The Irish Presidency Note on the Proposed General Data Protection Regulation, March 11, 2013).