Important decision on European data protection taken in Luxemburg

On Monday June 15, The Council of Ministers adopted a proposal for the new Data Protection Legislation for Europe. The decision, taken in Luxemburg, means that the Council is at least, if not more, as positive to research interests as the original proposal by the Commission.

This now stands in contrast to the view expressed by the Parliament expressed in their proposal from March 2014. Negotiations between the three partieswill  commence on June 24, and will continue throughout the fall of 2015, aiming at an agreement by early 2016. If this goal is reached, it could be expected that the new data protection legislation will be in effect by 2018, replacing national legislation such as the Swedish Personal Data Act.

The Council proposal puts emphasis on the possibility for member states to regulate research in national law. While opening up for different applications across Europe which may make it more difficult to share data across borders, this means that the Swedish system, where ethical vetting boards are crucial for the permission to use sensitive personal data in research, is maintained. The preservation of register-based research has been a high priority for the Swedish delegation.

Link to how Swedish media covered the event