EU: Data protection proposal on police and judicial matters (1)

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Germany, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and UK back dropping the need for "adequate" data protection when exchanging personal data with third states following complaint by the USA. The USA is on record - in secret High-Level meetings - as saying that Article 15 (exchange of data with third countries) would:

"jeopardise the informal excellent contacts developed over time by the US law enforcement agencies with their opposite numbers in the Member States" (EU-US JHA High level meeting in Helsinki on 18 July 2006)

The current draft says that data can only be exchanged with non-EU states if:

"An adequate level of data protection is ensured in the third country or by the international body to which the data concerned shall be transferred"

Five member states support this "adequacy" test (Czech Republic Switzerland, Finland, Greece and Portugal) but seven - backing the US complaint - are opposed to its inclusion (Germany, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and UK)

- latest draft of the Council's amendments (24 August 2006): EU doc no: 11547-rev2-06

- Report adopted by European Parliament plenary session - under the consultation procedure (link)

- Report by rapporteur Martine Roure in Committee on Civil Liberties

- Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor

- and original Commission proposal (pdf)

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