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Adoption by JHA Council of the Framework Decision on Data Protection in III Pillar

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Adoption by JHA Council of the Framework Decision on Data Protection in III Pillar

The Working Party on Police and Justice (WWPJ), mandated by the European data protection authorities to monitor data protection developments as related to judicial and police co-operation, took note of the recent decision by the JHA Council to adopt the Draft Framework Decision on Data Protection in the III Pillar (doc. 9260/08).

The WPPJ recalls the statements made in the past months on this subject matter and the exchange of letters with the competent European institutions, in which it reiterated the need for a harmonized approach aimed at ensuring a common set of principles for the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of their personal data for police and law enforcement purposes. The European reference instruments in this sector are Convention no. 108 by the Council of Europe and Directive 95/46/EC.

The WPPJ welcomes the adoption of an EU instrument that is intended to achieve the above objectives. It is the first general EU framework for data protection in the area of law enforcement and a recognition of the importance of data protection in an area where more and more personal data will be exchanged.

The WPPJ took also note that the  requests for amendments formulated by the European Parliament are not reflected in the text adopted nor the comments made by the Data protection authorities have been appropriately considered.

The WPPJ is especially concerned that the framework decision does not envisage the establishment of a forum of national and European supervisory authorities to ensure the harmonised application of the relevant provisions, with advisory status, competent in particular regard the assessment of the adequate level of protection in view of transfers of data to third countries.

The WPPJ would like to draw the attention to the need for ensuring consistency in the national provisions adopted in transposing the framework decision and points out the appropriateness of seeking the advice of the national data protection authorities in this respect.

The WPPJ, on its part, will strive to monitor application of the Framework Decision in the EU Member States and foster the adoption of harmonised measures and decisions that can fully uphold the fundamental right to data protection of all European citizens.

28 november 2010