Italian Council Presidency’s priorities on civil liberties


On 22 July, the Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, together with the Italian vice Prime Minister, presented the priorities of the Italian Council Presidency to the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) in the European Parliament.


Amid the others, such as migration and cooperation on criminal and civil matters, data protection reform and the exchange of data with third countries are issues on which the Italian Presidency of the Council aims to make progress, declared the Justice Minister. “We will try to achieve a common approach during the Presidency on data protection”, he told LIBE Committee’s MEPs, assuring them that the Presidency will also take into account of the right to be forgotten, in the light of the recent European Court of Justice ruling against Google. The Italian Minister declared that there are some elements in the ECJ ruling that could be used as a beginning for legislation, even though some EU Member States have very different views at the moment. Italy will try to develop a common approach in the Council Presidency.

During the debate in the LIBE Committee, MEPs raised many questions on data protection and data retention. Minister Orlando insisted on the fact that privacy is a fundamental civil right and one of Italy’s priorities. The Italian Presidency will strive for an adoption of the Data Protection text in the first reading at the Council, because “simplifying legislation and cutting red tape is a step towards building the European Union”. He also declared that the Commission had good reasonsto decide on a regulation instead of a directive, to assure a greater harmonization. But Italy does not want to go back in system of guarantees that some Member States already have for their citizens (such as Germany).

On data retention, Minister Orlando said that the Council is awaiting a Commission proposal in the aftermath of the European Court of Justice ruling declaring the 2006 Directive invalid.

Ecommerce Europe supports the efforts of the European legislators to modernize the European data protection legislation. In doing so, Ecommerce Europe proposes a risk-based approach which avoids excessive administrative burdens and disproportionate sanctions.