More than 90% of Europeans say they want the same data protection rights across the EU – and regardless of where their data is processed.

The Regulation is an essential step to strengthen citizens’ fundamental rights in the digital age and facilitate business by simplifying rules for companies in the Digital Single Market. A single law will also do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around €2.3 billion a year. The Directive for the police and criminal justice sector protects citizens’ fundamental right to data protection whenever personal data is used by criminal law enforcement authorities. It will in particular ensure that the personal data of victims, witnesses, and suspects of crime are duly protected and will facilitate cross-border cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism.

On 15 December 2015, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached agreement on the new data protection rules, establishing a modern and harmonised data protection framework across the EU. The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee and the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) of the Council then approved the agreements with very large majorities. The agreements were also welcomed by the European Council of 17-18 December as a major step forward in the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy.

Once the Regulation and the Directive receive formal adoption from the European Parliament and Council, the official texts will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in all official languages. The new rules will become applicable two years thereafter.