The “data protection reform package” describes a set of two legal frameworks that form the result of a reform of the EU data protection rules prepared from 2012 to 2016.

The full names of these legal frameworks are: “Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)”, and “Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA”.

In 2012, the European Commission proposed a reform of the legal frameworks of the EU in the field of data protection, putting forward two bills: A regulation on the processing of personal data in general (“General Data Protection Regulation”), and a directive on the protection of personal data processed for the purposes of law enforcement.

After more than four years of negotiation and discussion, the European Parliament and the European Commission reached agreement on the two frameworks on 15 December 2015. On 14 April 2016, the European Parliament adopted the two legal frameworks.

Having been published in the EU official journal on 4 May 2016, they will repeal the former EU rules on data protection, namely the Data Protection Directive (Regulation 95/46/EC) and the Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (2008/977/JHA) when being applicable. As the General Data Protection Regulation will apply from 25 May 2018, from that day on its rules will be effective in all EU Member States. The Directive will apply from 6 May 2018. By then, EU Member States are supposed to have transposed its rules into their national law.