Analysis: Will we reach a new safe harbor?


What’s the buzz about safe harbor?

Following a complaint lodged by Austrian law student Max Schrems the European Court of Justice threw out a fifteen year old agreement which regulated the transfer of European data to the United States. EU data is per-se not allowed to be transferred out of the EU due to privacy concerns, but because of the high standards of U.S. privacy laws, the European Commission had agreed to the safe harbor agreement in 2000, where U.S. companies could be certified to transfer European data to stateside servers. Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Will we reach a new safe harbor?

Die EU auf der Suche nach einen safer "Safe Harbor"
Die EU auf der Suche nach einen safer “Safe Harbor”

27 January 2016, 13.00-15.00h

Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels

 About the event

The European Court of Justice’s decision to invalidate the Safe Harbor agreement concluded between the U.S. and the EU gave a strong signal to the Commission that a future agreement needs to be stronger on protecting European data. At the same time, the decision has meant that thousands of organizations storing European data in the U.S. have been plummeted into uncertainty. If an agreement is not reached by end of January, EU member states need to implement their own bilateral agreements with the U.S., re-creating a myriad of rules to govern transatlantic data transfer. In parallel the EU agreed to a new data protection package which is likely to give the European Commission guidance as it negotiates a new agreement with the U.S.

How close are we to a new agreement and how safe will the new harbor be? What are the consequences if the January deadline lapses without an agreement? Join us for a lively discussion on the ramifications of a new safe harbor agreement.


Hans H. Stein
Director, European and Transatlantic Dialogue, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom


Christian Borggreen
Director, International Policy, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Gisela Piltz
Member of the Board of Trustees, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Berin Szoka
President, Tech Freedom

Claus Gramckow
Representative USA and Canada, Transatlantic Dialogue Program, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom


Kindly register for this event by 25 January 2016 at Please note that you will be forwarded to a Google Drive sheet. Should you wish to register with us directly please send an email to Photographs will be taken at the event for use on the FNF website, social media, in the press, FNF marketing materials, and other publications. By entering this event, you consent to FNF photographing and using your image and likeness.


An EU social media police is not the way to go

We have all seen it; hateful statements flourish on the Internet, on reputable news sites as well as in murky discussion forums. Hate speech is an old phenomenon, but it seems the Internet has greased the joints of those who seek to use speech to incite hatred. Online hate speech again made the headlines when Liberal Commissioner Věra Jourová on 1 October called for Member States to criminalize hate speech, upholding the EU framework decision on fighting racism and xenophobia. Only days later a young and dynamic panel met for a Transatlantic Dialogue Luncheon to discuss online hate speech organized by FNF and the AJC Transatlantic Institute. Is the criminalization of hate speech the way to also combat it online, or are there other tools at our disposal? Do we need an EU social media police?
Continue reading