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Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detectio

On 25 January 2012, the Commission proposed a new framework for data protection in the EU including two legislative proposals: the first being a proposal for a Regulation, setting out a general EU framework for data protection, and repealing the Directive 95/46/EC; and the second a proposal for a Directive on protecting personal data processed for law enforcement purposes, replacing Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA (COM(2012) 10 final). The Directive would apply to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. Its scope would be broader than that of the current Framework Decision since domestic processing operations would also be covered in addition to “cross-border” data.

Following this proposition, the European data protection supervisor issued an opinion on 7 March 2012. Similarly, the European Fundamental rights agency issued on opinion on 1 October 2015.

Following the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (Rapporteur : Dimitrios Droutsas) and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs European Parliament adopted its first reading position on 12 March 2014.

Regarding the Council, the proposed Directive has been discussed in the Working Party on information exchange and data protection (DAPIX) under every Presidency since the beginning of 2012. In September 2014, the scope of the Directive was the subject of a discussion.

Work on this proposed Directive continued under the Luxembourg Presidency with the aim to reach an agreement on the whole data protection package by the end of 2015. A compromise was drafted in order to reach a general approach during the JHA Council which took place on 8-9 October. The Council agreed on this negotiating position, which allowed the Luxembourg presidency to start discussions with the European Parliament and to organise a first trilogue on 27 October 2015. The Presidency issued a preparatory document in this view.

In the meantime, the European data protection supervisor issued a general opinion on the 27th of July and an addendum on the 9th of October. These documents were related to the general package on data protection. The European data protection supervisor issued a specific opinion on 28 October 2015 on the Directive for data protection in the police and justice sectors. Several recommendations were made.

Following a trilogue on 17 and 18 December 2015, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament and the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council confirmed an agreement on the compromise text resulting from the negotiations. An analysis of the agreement was released by the Presidency in order to underline the main compromise that were reached. On 12 February 2016, the Council reached a political agreement on the draft Directive. On 8 April the Council adopted its position at first reading, fully in line with the compromise text. The Council simultaneously published a statement of reasons explaining the position. The Czech Republic issued a statement on this vote, arguing that this Directive is not in full conformity with the principle of subsidiarity, does not address the issue on the relationship between the new Directive and existing instruments of judicial cooperation in criminal matters or police cooperation, and imposes disproportionate burdens on competent authorities and foresees an implementation period which is unreasonably short. On 11 April 2016, the Commission released a communication to confirm its support for this agreement. Because no amendment has been adopted by the Council, the Council’s position at first reading was approved by the European Parliament. The final document was released on 27 April 2016. Directive 2016/680 has been published in the official journal on 4 may 2016 (OJ L 119).

type: Directive

Reference number: 2016/680

Issue date: 27-04-16