This morning, EU Ministers from the 28 EU countries debated and reached agreement on the proposed "one-stop shop" mechanism at a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Brussels.
The draft Regulation originally proposed that, a business operating across the EU, would only have to deal with the data protection regulatory authority of the member country where it has its headquarters.
However, under the compromise proposal, any third party will be able to appeal a decision by a Data Protection Commissioner in one country to a pan-European body, called the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).
As 29 out of 30 of the world’s largest tech companies have their European headquarters in Ireland, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner effectively regulates data issues for those companies’ operations throughout the EU.
The Irish Government had tried to restrict the appeals process by requiring that an appeal must come from a number of countries, instead of just one. There is concern that the new proposal will lead to a flood of cases being referred to the EDPB and that it conflicts with the original proposal’s aim of making it easier for businesses to operate across the EU.
Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection, Mr Dara Murphy reportedly warned that it could take up to four months for cases under the "one-stop shop mechanism" to be resolved if they are referred to the EDPB. In addition, legal certainty for businesses and consumers would be further delayed if decisions taken by the EDPB were subject to legal challenge before the courts.
Today’s agreement could still be changed when the EU Ministers meet in June review to the whole of the draft Regulation. Agreement is on the basis that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". The "one-stop shop" mechanism is just part of wider reforms to EU data protection laws still being negotiated.
Furthermore, Minister Murphy has called for a "review clause" to be included in the draft Regulation to determine the effectiveness of the" one-stop shop" mechanism after the Regulation comes into force.