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News article6 June 2019

Security Union: Commission receives mandate to start negotiating international rules for obtaining electronic evidence

Today, EU Member States agreed to give two mandates to the Commission to engage in international negotiations to improve cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal investigations. The Council agreed to provide the Commission with negotiating mandates for negotiations with the United States and for the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe “Budapest” Convention on Cybercrime. Both mandates include provisions on strong fundamental rights safeguards on data protection, privacy and the procedural rights of individuals, which will have to be an integral part of any future agreement.

With the majority of criminal investigations requiring access to evidence based online and often outside the EU, it is crucial to ensure an effective cooperation and compatible rules at international level. The decisions adopted today by the Council provide the Commission with the directives to negotiate an agreement with the U.S. and on the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe “Budapest” Convention on Cybercrime.

In both cases, the mandates require strong and specific safeguards on data protection, privacy and the procedural rights of individuals based on fundamental rights, freedoms and general principles of EU law in the Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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Publication date
6 June 2019