Today, the European Parliament (EP) voted in favor of the two reports of rapporteurs Jan-Philipp Albrecht and Dimitrios Droutsas concerning the proposed General Data Protection Regulation and the proposed Directive for the law enforcement sector. The support for the report on the proposed Regulation (see here), which the LIBE Committee of the EP had adopted in October last year (see InsidePrivacy, What Companies Should Know About the LIBE Committee’s Amendments to the EU’s Proposed Data Protection Regulation, October 24, 2013), was particularly strong (621 votes in favor out of 653 votes), whereas a considerable minority (276 votes out of 677 with 371 votes in favor) voted against the report on the proposed Directive (see here).
The votes followed a debate on the reform package that took place in the plenary yesterday. The debate was characterized by strong support for the proposed Regulation. A few Members of the EP (MEPs) raised concerns in particular in relation to the rules applicable to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and the potential impact on freedom of press and health research. However, although several MEPs recognized that the proposed Regulation would not be perfect, the majority considered it to be a step into the right direction and several stressed that it would establish parity of European with non-European companies.