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Parliamentary question - E-000629/2022(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Reynders on behalf of the European Commission

On 25 March 2022, President von der Leyen and President Biden announced an agreement in principle for a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, which will form the basis for a Commission adequacy decision to replace the previous Privacy Shield.

To address the requirements of the Court of Justice of the EU, it will provide for (1) binding rules limiting access to data of Europeans by United States (US) intelligence agencies to what is necessary and proportionate to protect national security and (2) a new redress mechanism to investigate and resolve complaints from Europeans concerning access to their data by US intelligence agencies.

This will complement the obligations that will apply to companies processing data transferred from the EU.

While the agreement in principle marks an important step towards a new arrangement, the details still need to be finalised and translated into legal texts. First, the US commitments will need to be reflected in a new Executive Order to be adopted by the US President and implementing regulations.

On that basis, the Commission will be able to propose a draft adequacy finding and launch the applicable adoption procedure. This involves obtaining an opinion of the European Data Protection Board and a positive vote from Member States in the comitology procedure.

The European Parliament has a right of scrutiny over adequacy decisions. Once this procedure is complete, the Commission will be able to adopt a new adequacy decision.

At the same time, it is important to note that an adequacy finding is not the only instrument for international data transfers that is available under EU data protection rules.

Other tools, such as standard contractual clauses adopted by the Commission[1], remain available under certain conditions[2].

Last updated: 11 May 2022
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