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The European Commission endorsed provisions for data flows and data protection in EU trade agreement

The Commission recently endorsed provisions for cross-border data flows and personal data protection in trade negotiations. As the protection of personal data is a fundamental right in the EU, it cannot be subject to negotiations in the context of EU trade agreements.


Data flows between the EU and third countries can be ensured using the mechanisms provided under the EU data protection legislation. As already underlined in the Commission's Communication of 10 January 2017, the preferred avenue for the EU are "adequacy decisions". (Adequacy decisions recognize an equivalent level of data protection of a third country.)


The Commission is now informing the other European institutions, as well as the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Article 29 Working Group of data protection authorities on its position in accordance with the usual procedures. The Commission's position today will determine its approach to data flows and data protection in trade agreements until the end of the mandate.


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