Data Protection Reform After LIBE

October 22, 2013

On Monday 21 October, the European Commission’s data protection reform proposals) were backed by an overwhelming majority (49 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions) in the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament. The reports of MEPs Jan-Philipp Albrecht and Dimitrios Droutsas, on which members of the LIBE Committee voted, amount to a strong endorsement of the Commission’s package approach to the data protection reform, and an important signal of progress in the legislative procedure.


The vote by the European Parliament’s leading committee is a strong signal for Europe. It paves the way for a uniform and strong European data protection law that will cut costs for business and strengthen the protection of our citizens: one continent, one law,’ said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. ‘The European Parliament has proven that excessive lobbying can be counter-productive. It has not only defended but strengthened the right to be forgotten for citizens – one of the central elements of the EU data protection reform. This is democracy in Europe at its best. Thanks to the committed and tireless work of Members of the European Parliament Mr Albrecht, Mr Voss and Mr Droutsas, the European Parliament has succeeded in consolidating 3999 amendments into just 104 compromise amendments. This is a solid text. It is now for the Council of Ministers, the EU’s second Chamber, to rise to the challenge.

An unofficial consolidated version of the regulation has now become available from Jan Albrecht at

A summary contrasting the Commission proposals with the Parliament’s version post-LIBE can be found here (you need to scroll past the opening cheerleading). Right to be forgotten is now Right of erasure and there are numerous other changes (of more substance than the press release highlights).

The reaction to the vote has been varied, with great excitement heralding a major breakthrough balanced by reminders that the legislative process still has a long way to go. Given the stance of some Member States, the EU Council may well take a hatchet to the proposals whereas, by contrast, most of the LIBE changes were achieved by use of a scalpel. But the proposals have very strong backing from the EU Commission, with both President Barroso and Vice-President Reding making committed statements.