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Friday, June 01, 2012

Germans stick to their guns on data retention

As we've noted before, the Germans take privacy and civil liberties seriously, and have refused to implement the EU's Data Retention Directive (the first part of the Directive was meant to have been implemented in 2007 the second part in 2009). There's a lot of history here. Two years ago, the German Constitutional Court ruled the implementing law of the Directive unconstitutional, which in turn triggered the current stalemate.

As the Germans continue to drag their feet, the European Commission has now proposed that the ECJ impose a daily penalty of €315,037 on Germany until it implements the Directive. However, Süddeutsche reports that the liberal FDP Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is sticking to her guns and is still refusing to implement the law - something which is increasingly straining relations within the German ruling coalition, with CDU/CSU MPs, and CSU Interior Minister Hans-Pieter Friedrich in particular, less keen to make a stand on the issue than the FDP.

This is becoming a very interesting test case for a potentially new-found German assertiveness in Europe, though it's not alone on this on this one. Sweden, Austria and Romania have gone into this Directive kicking and screaming, but it's definitely Germany that is offering the most resistance at the moment. More widely, of course, this is an interesting example of an EU member state unilaterally refusing to accept an EU law what it goes against the country's fundamental political and constitutional settlement.

5 comments:

Dennis Nilsson said...

The Germans have learned from the history!

SBJ said...

While the people of Sweden didn't want the Dataretention, a vast majority the swedish politicians bent over backwards in their eagerness to implement it.

The only reason it was delayed, was that the Socialdemocrats and Moderats (with supports from C, FP and KD)didn't want to implement it before the election in 2010. Only 2 parties was against it Miljöpartiet and Vänsterpartiet (Environment talibans and the leftwing party). those two managed to get a minority delay for 1 year, wich of course drove Moderat leader Fredrik Reinfeldth nuts.

Neither the Socialdemocrats nor the righwing parties in Sweden is keen on democracy. When the people disagree with political decitions, Primeminister Fredrik R. likes to exclaim that he's in charge and makes the decisions, everyone else be damned.

JohJoh said...

@SBJ
And (naturally) the Pirate Party was agains the data retention

Anonymous said...

I have to ask, how does directives come into being that countries do not want to implement?

I naively thought that countries had representatives negotiating and had veto rights to stop decisions their citizens would disagree with?

I've read about the horrors of comitology but still...

http://www.euractiv.com/future-eu/europes-legal-order-threat-boss-brussels-analysis-512884

MicroSourcing said...

It's odd that Germany doesn't seem to have had any negotiation rights regarding the directive, or that the state failed to find a compromise with the EU considering that Germany is one of the EU's forerunners.