The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force in May 2016 and will apply in all Member States as from May 2018.
The Regulation applies to any type of research that uses personal data, including scientific research and studies in (bio)medicine, the social sciences and the arts and humanities. EU researchers are affected by the new regulation as they need to be able to collect personal data, process and re-process personal data and collaborate in a cross-border context.
Science Europe has been very active as from the very beginning of the legislative process. The former Medical Sciences Committee, with the support of other Scientific Committees, published an early Opinion Paper in May 2013, which led to a Position Statement which released also in May 2013. Science Europe also co-signed various statements and recommendations with key partners such as Wellcome Trust and the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM), and took part in a number of bilateral and multilateral discussions, roundtables, and conferences.
Science Europe and its partners have advocated successfully for a number of key issues which were included in the new Regulation. The GPDR now includes special rules to provide exemptions from some general requirements when it comes to scientific research and freedom of expression in an academic context.