European Commission Should Stand Firm on Free Data Flows

Nick Wallace March 8, 2017
March 8, 2017

The European Commission is losing its nerve over the free flow of data, writes Nick Wallace in EU Reporter. After initially saying it would announce a regulation to overturn national laws preventing data flows to other member states, it has kicked the issue into the long grass by relegating it to a public consultation. This is disappointing. Data flows are an essential part of trade in a great many services, and data localization is a trade barrier. To support the single market, the European Union should remove legal obstacles to data flows within the EU. It should also relax the rules in the General Data Protection Regulation governing transfers to non-EU countries. Doing so will bring down costs for European companies and consumers, strengthen competition in data-driven services, and bolster international trade.