A vote on the draft Data Protection Regulation (the “Regulation”) has been delayed again. On Monday May 6 2013, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (the “LIBE Committee”) met to discuss the latest draft of the Regulation. LIBE’s lead rapporteur, German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, who is charged with directing the legislation through to the final vote, explained that although several meetings have been held and some agreements have been reached, further discussion is needed in light of the significant number of amendments proposed to the Regulation.

The LIBE Committee will not accordingly be in a position to vote on the Regulation on May 29 as planned. Rapporteur Albrecht said he believes that compromises can be adopted with a broad consensus and that a vote is still possible before July.

The Irish government, which currently holds the EU presidency, is eager to hold a vote at the Member State level before the end of its presidency on July 1. However this is only possible after the European Parliament as a whole has voted, something it will not do until it has heard from the LIBE Committee.

Speaking to the LIBE committee on Monday, Dutch MEP Sophie In`t Veld said she was still worried that some Member States wanted public services removed from the regulation. Germany in particular is eager to have public services fall under a directive rather than a regulation (therefore allowing the German government greater latitude in relation to data protection issues in its public services). Sophie In't Veld stated that she felt strongly that public services should remain within the scope of the regulation.

Other controversial topics discussed during the LIBE Committee’s meeting included:

  • data portability and the right to be forgotten;
  • the meaning of anonymised and pseudonymised personal data; and
  • the 2011 Voss Report on the effectiveness of the current European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC.