Privacy and Health Research. Implementation


According to the Treaty of Rome, under which the E.U. operates, the Member States thus have obligated themselves to bringing their national laws into conformance with the principles of the Directive within three years of adoption (i.e., by October 1998). In this "transposing" they can employ whatever instruments of law—statutes, regulations, decrees, and so on—they deem sufficient. Some believe that their protections already meet most of the Directive's requirements. Others are revising their laws substantially.

The Working Party is to coordinate the implementation with respect to uniform application throughout the E.U., periodically report to the Commission on progress, and eventually give the Commission its opinion on the level of protection in the E.U. and in various non-E.U. countries and "on any codes of conduct drawn up at Community level" (Article 30). A variety of Community implementation requirements are specified.

Some European countries that are not members of the E.U., such as Switzerland, have said that they intend to establish equivalent standards.