#Estonia wants data to move freely in Europe

| December 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

The last European Telecommunications Ministers meeting during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU took place in Brussels on 4 December. The focus was on the free flow of data, 5G network connectivity and the new European Telecommunications Code. During the morning session the ministers supported Presidency’s efforts to reach the general approach on the free flow of data within 2017.

The Council of Ministers held discussions on how the free flow of data will affect the work of the public sector, the circumstances that would require the creation of exceptions to the law and the issues of cross-border cooperation. According to the Estonian Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technlogy Urve Palo, free movement of data is one of the most important digital themes of the Estonain Presidency. “Initially, a number of European countries were rather hesitant. Today’s Council showed clearly, that all member states strongly support the free flow of data initiative and see its economic potential. We have come to a common understanding that, without the free movement of data, we will not be able to create a digital single market in Europe.”

The Council held a policy debate on a draft regulation on the free flow of non-personal data. The aim of the proposal is to set out a clear legal framework under which non-personal data could move freely across borders in the EU. To achieve this, the new regulation would remove national rules that currently restrict companies in choosing a location for storing or processing their data, unless such restrictions are justified on the grounds of public security. At the same time, it would ensure that competent authorities have access to data stored or processed in another member state so that they can carry out their regulatory tasks just as they do when the data is stored in their own territory.

“December is an important month for us. We have moved forward with the free flow of data at a good pace. It is an important initiative and I am pleased that we have been able to work in a constructive atmosphere. As a result, we are hopeful that Member States will reach an agreement on a position on the free flow of data within this year,” commented Minister Palo.

The Telecoms Council meeting continues with discussions on The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the roadmap for developing 5G Network connectivity in Europe.

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Category: A Frontpage, Data, Digital economy, Estonia, EU

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