Incoming president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has radically transformed the EU executive to help him pursue his vision for the next five years.
Juncker seeks to make the EU “an area of justice and fundamental rights based on mutual trust,” and has led to him calling for the “conclusion of negotiations on the reform of Europe’s data protection rules,” and the review of the Safe Harbor agreement to be completed within six months’ time, particularly in light of recent mass surveillance revelations.
In Juncker’s mission letter, he requests Vice President Andrus Ansip, former Prime Minister of Estonia, to be Vice President of the ‘Digital Single Market’ team, with the aim of bringing to an end the Safe Harbor saga and the reform of Europe’s data protection rules.
What conclusions will be reached, if any, remain to be seen. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how Ansip’s attitude will differ toward data protection regulation from that of Vice President Viviane Reding, who threatened to suspend the EU/U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement in January 2014.