As part of an ongoing European tour, President Obama has met with several EU political leaders in Brussels today. After the meeting, Herman van Rompuy, President of the EU, stated that the US has agreed to review the Safe Harbor. There are no further details known at this stage but most likely the changes will be in the areas of monitoring and enforcement.
The statement is interesting in more than one respect. First, it may indicate that the Safe Harbor will stay, be it in a modified version. Readers will recall that the European Parliament recently called for the suspension of the Safe Harbor, in the wake of the Snowden revelations and other privacy related issues. The statement by the President of the EU may indicate that this will not happen. Second, the fact that the Safe Harbor is discussed during this visit, amidst many other pressing political issues such as the recent developments in the Ukraine, shows how high data protection and privacy are on the EU political agenda. More details no doubt will be released in due time but the declaration by Herman van Rompuy is an important development.