If the EU-US Privacy Shield is abolished, all European businesses – more than 3,000 European companies, the majority of them SMEs – having used this programme over the past 2 years, will end up without any legal framework for the transfer of data to US companies.

Axel Voss MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on the topic, acknowledges that we cannot and we should not trash years of important work in one go. We have to bear in mind the improvements over the last months. At the same time, we should ensure that the mechanism is soon functioning in its entirety and the recommendations issued by the European Commission late last year are put into practice in a timely manner.”

It is on these lines that the EPP Group has submitted a number of amendments to the final Resolution being voted upon by the Plenary tomorrow, showing some concern as to whether the current implementation of the Privacy Shield provides an adequate level of protection, and insisting that the US Government takes all the necessary measures to be fully compliant by the time of the second annual review rather than calling for an outright suspension. The EPP Group’s position on this file is clear: the EU-US Privacy Shield should not be scrapped, but it should be refined.

Voss concluded: “Rome wasn’t built in a day. We Europeans do not throw in the towel at the first hurdle. We turn challenges into opportunities. And that is what we should do with the EU-US Privacy Shield. We must ensure that the mechanism serves its purpose, to the benefit of European SMEs and citizens. European business leaders cannot afford further tumbling blocks in their business with their American counterparts. They should be reassured of the safe and reliable transfer of personal data which results in easier access to markets.”