13th March 2015

JHA Council discusses data protection, agrees on one-stop-shop

Ministers in charge of the interior and justice convened on 13 March to hold a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The main topic on the agenda was the data protection legislation revision, a process that has been going on for more than a year now. The ministers now finally agreed on some specific aspects of the reform, perhaps most importantly on the so-called one-stop-shop. This one-stop-shop mechanism would allow transnational data protection disputes to be settled by only one data protection authority, while being binding for all other authorities. In theory, therefore, a company would only need to deal with one state authority, not 28 different ones – this would lead to faster decisions, more legal certainty, consistent application and less administrative burden. The EP has already stated its support for the one-stop-shop. Last December, the ministers agreed in principle to include the provision. Now they agreed on its specific points. According to the partial general approach, the one-stop-shop should only be used in important transnational cases. Also, in contrast with the rather simple mechanism proposed by the MEPs, the Council´s proposal provides for a complex mechanism, involving discussions and consultations among national authorities with the possibility of the authorities no refuse delivering a one-stop-shop decision. Therefore, the Council´s position represents a very watered-down mechanism with questionable practical consequences. The MEPs sought to establish as simple and streamlined a mechanism as possible.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic