In its Resolution (2013/2682(RSP)) of 4 July 2013, the European Parliament instructed the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the matter in collaboration with national parliaments and the EU-US expert group set up by the Commission and to report back by the end of the year, by:
(a) gathering all relevant information and evidence from both US and EU sources (fact-finding);
(b) investigating the alleged surveillance activities of US authorities as well as any carried out by certain Member States (mapping of responsibilities);
(c) assessing the impact of surveillance programmes as regards: the fundamental rights of EU citizens (in particular the right to respect for private life and communications,
freedom of expression, the presumption of innocence and the right to an effective remedy); actual data protection both within the EU and for EU citizens outside the EU, focusing in particular on the effectiveness of EU law in respect of extraterritoriality mechanisms; the safety of the EU in the era of cloud computing; the added value and proportionality of such programmes with regard to the fight against terrorism; the external dimension of the area of freedom, security and justice (assessing the validity of adequacy decisions for EU transfers to third countries, such as those carried out under the Safe Harbour Agreement, international agreements and other legal instruments providing for legal assistance and cooperation) (damage and risk analysis);
(d) exploring the most appropriate mechanisms for redress in the event of confirmed violations (administrative and judicial redress and compensation schemes);
(e) putting forward recommendations aimed at preventing further violations, and ensuring credible, high-level protection of EU citizens’ personal data via adequate means, in particular the adoption of a fully-fledged data protection package (policy recommendations and law-making);
(f) issuing recommendations aimed at strengthening IT security in the EU’s institutions, bodies and agencies by means of proper internal security rules for communication systems, in order to prevent and remedy unauthorised access and the disclosure or loss of information and personal data (remedying of security breaches);
The two reports on Data Protection package are handled in the LIBE Committee:
The Proposal for a Directive on the protection of individuals with regard 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, and the free movement of such data, 2012/0010(COD), Rapporteur Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, GR), Shadow rapporteurs Axel Voss (EPP, DE), Sophie in't Veld (ALDE, NL), Jan Albrech (Greens/EFA, DE), Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL, DE) and the Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation), 2012/0011(COD), Rapporteur Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE), Shadow rapporteurs Axel Voss (EPP, DE), Dimitrios Droutsas (S&D, EL), Sarah Ludford (ALDE, UK), Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL, DE).
The proposal has been attributed jointly (Rule 51 of the EP Rules of Procedure) to the Budgetary Control Committee and the Committe on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs with Legal Affairs Committee as associated committee (Rule 50 of the EP Rules of Procedure).
The respective rapporteurs are Ingeborg Graessle for CONT, Juan Fernando López Aguilar for LIBE, and Tadeusz Zwiefka is the draftsman for JURI.
According to Rule 51, CONT and LIBE will draw a joint draft report which shall be examined and voted on by the committees concerned, under the joint chairmanship of the committee Chairs.
At all stages of the procedure, the rights attaching to the status of committee responsible may be exercised by the committees concerned only when they are acting jointly. The committees involved may set up working groups to prepare the meetings and votes.
At the first meeting of the co-rapporteurs it was agreed that the tentative timing for delivering a first draft of the joint report should be September 2013.