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EP gives green light to EU-U.S. Data Protection Agreement

Staff Writer |
The EU-U.S. data protection agreement has been given a green light by the European Parliament.

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Members of European Parliament (MEPs) gave strong support to the implementation of the umbrella agreement with 481 votes in favor, 75 against and 88 abstentions.

Addressing the Brussels chamber just before the vote, rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht (Germany / Greens) called the deal "a historical breakthrough," underlining that, "for the first time in history, the United States of America are entering a binding international agreement on data protection standards."

The agreement aims to ensure high, binding data protection standards for data exchanged between law enforcement authorities for cross border prevention, tracking and prosecution of criminal offences, including terrorist acts.

In a debate that preceded the vote, Albrecht told MEPs: "This agreement is a huge step forward for fundamental rights and in particular for the right to data protection in times where data exchange is key for effective law enforcement cooperation between the EU, its member states and other partners in the world."

"This is unprecedented, not only in the transatlantic context, but also on the international level," Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, declared during the debate.

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