The last two weeks has been very much ‘business as usual’ in Brussels with work continuing on the two ‘growth’ policy objectives of Capital Markets Union and Retail Financial Services. As you will see below discussions and reviews on the replacement to Safe Harbour – the EU –US Privacy Shield continue and it is clear from these discussions that certain parties involved in managing data protection are still to be ‘convinced’ the new solution is better than its predecessor. Finally it appears from contact that has been made recently with the European Central Bank (ECB) that they are still struggling to come up with the final regulation on Anacredit. No doubt the result of the significant feedback they received from everyone.
KEY AREAS OF ACTIVITY
- EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT – ‘Draft Report on access to finance for SMEs and increasing the diversity of SME funding in a Capital Markets Union’
On Friday 15 April 2016 the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee published the amendments that were submitted to the ‘Draft Report on access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increasing the diversity of SME funding in a Capital Markets Union’. The amendments to the draft report will be discussed during the ECON Committee Meeting of Monday 25 April 2015. Please find here the link to the amendments and the link to the draft report.
o The report will be voted upon in the ECON Committee in June 2016.
o Following the adoption in the ECON Committee, the report will be voted upon during the plenary session of the European Parliament in September 2016.
- EU – US PRIVACY SHIELD
On Wednesday 13 April 2016 the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), which gather the national data protection authorities, published its opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield. Overall, the WP29 welcomes the significant improvements the Privacy Shield brought to the transfer of transatlantic data, compared to the Safe Harbour decision. However the WP29 has several major concerns with regard to:
o The function of ombudsman that is not sufficiently independent, has not the right powers to effectively exercise its duty and does not guarantee a satisfactory remedy in case of disagreement;
o The EU data protection principles that are not clearly reflected in the draft adequacy decision and the annexes of the Privacy Shield, such as the application of the purpose limitation principle and the data retention principle.
o The access by public authorities to data transferred under the Privacy Shield.
The opinion of the WP29 is not binding however it is influential. In fact national data protection authorities have the power to investigate complaints about non-compliance with the Privacy Principles and can suspend data transfers if they are found to be infringing EU law. If the Commission decides to go ahead with the draft adequacy decision, ignoring the concerns raised by the WP29, it could risk to undermine its position if the Privacy Shield is challenged in court. On the other hand, trying to incorporate the WP29 suggestions in the Privacy Shield would mean to reopen negotiations on essential elements that US authorities might not be willing to re-discuss.
o WP29 Opinion 01/2016 on the EU – U.S. Privacy Shield draft adequacy decision Link
o WP29 Working Document 01/2016 on the justification of interferences with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection through surveillance measures when transferring personal data (European Essential Guarantees) Link
o Press release: statement of the WP29 on the opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield. Link
o Text of the draft adequacy decision on the EU-US Privacy Shield Link
- ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEETING – Retail Financial Services Green Paper
On Monday 25 April 2016 the European Parliaments Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee will have a first exchange of views on the Green Paper on Retail Financial Services. The ACCIS Secretariat will attend the ECON Committee meeting to see whether the joint ACCIS and BIIA concerns with regard to the Retail Financial Services Green Paper are discussed.
- ANACREDIT DRAFT REGULATION
On 15 April 2016 the ACCIS Secretariat had a telephone call with the ECB to the status of the Draft AnaCredit Regulation. The ECB officials confirmed that the ECB was still working revising the draft Regulation following the feedback received during the public consultation, but could not confirm the exact date of the adoption of the AnaCredti Regulation by the ECB’s Governing Council. The ECB confirmed that the adoption of the Regulation should not be expected before the end of April 2016. From the discussion with the ECB it seems that there is still a substantial amount of work remaining for the ECB to finalise the draft regulation and it is likely to take few more weeks for the regulation to be submitted for adoption by the ECB’s Governing Council.
Neil Munroe is a director of BIIA and a member of the BIIA regulatory committee. He can be reached at: CRS Insights Ltd – e: firstname.lastname@example.org – m: +44 (0) 7710 844518, p: +44 (0) 1923 284604