On 12 March 2014, The European Parliament voted on its first reading the draft regulation and the draft directive updating and modernising the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive.

« The message the European Parliament is sending is unequivocal: this reform is a necessity, and now it is irreversible. Europe’s directly elected parliamentarians have listened to European citizens and European businesses and, with this vote, have made clear that we need a uniform and strong European data protection law, which will make life easier for business and strengthen the protection of our citizens, » said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner.

Amendments to the initial text strengthen fines to be imposed on firms in case of violation of data protection rules (up to EUR 100 million or 5% of global turnover instead of EUR 1 million initially proposed by the European Commission) and reinforce the protection of EU consumers regarding data transfers to non-EU countries, as well as data protection on the Internet.

The European Parliament’s vote has to consolidate the work done so far, and hand it over to the next Parliament to be elected in May (which will have to negotiate with the European Council the final adoption of the reform).

European Parliament's main aim is to reach an agreement on this major legislative reform before the end of 2014.