The judgment by the European Union Court of Justice on the validity of the Safe Harbour scheme reaffirms the importance of the fundamental right to the protection of personal data, including when transferring these data outside the European Union.
Considering the ongoing negotiations on the reform of the EU rules on the protection of personal data, the judgment of the Court confirms that adequacy decisions by the European Commission can continue to be taken under the condition of strong safeguards, in particular with regards to judicial remedies for citizens and a strengthened role for national supervisory authorities. Such reinforced safeguards are foreseen in the draft regulation currently under negotiation at EU level.
The invalidation of the Safe Harbour regime, although having an impact on all stakeholders concerned, does not preclude transfers to the US taking place on the basis of other mechanisms (Binding Corporate Rules, standard contractual clauses, contract, consent etc). While the Commission is engaged in discussions with US authorities in view of a safe framework for transatlantic data transfers, the draft EU data protection regulation foresees, beyond adequacy decisions, also other means for transfers outside the European Union.
The Presidency of the Council is aware of the importance of striking the right balance between the right to the protection of personal data and the economic importance of transatlantic data flows.
The Presidency remains committed to the objective of finalising the EU data protection reform by the end of the year.
Released by the Ministry of Justice