On 9 July 2013, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) held a joint debate on the data protection package. 

Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE) presented a short state of play. He explained that progress is being made in terms of reaching compromise amendments.  He re-emphasised that the aim is to harmonise the data protection rules on the basis of the 1995 directive and warned against amendments that offer less protection than this. He hopes the vote in the LIBE Committee will take place in October at the latest and that the Council will have a general approach ready by that time, so that negotiations between the Parliament, Council and Commission can start immediately afterwards.

Sarah Ludford (ALDE, UK) underlined that her group insists on high standards for the Regulation and a clear and workable piece of legislation. She is not sure whether a consensus will eventually be obtained. In addition, she argued that the anti-FISA clause, initially taken out by the Commission, will have to be reintroduced.  Finally, several MEPs mentioned that the PRISM revelations made EU citizens more sensitive in terms of the importance of data protection.  The debate is still full of unknowns as negotiations between the rapporteurs are held away from the public eye. It is likely that more concrete information will be revealed in September in preparation for the October vote.

Source:  EASDP (European Association for Search and Data Publishing