European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gives a press conference with the Lithuanian President during a Presidency opening ceremony at the National Art Gallery in Vilnius on July 5, 2013.
Move is part of trade deal negotiations

EU, US set up working group on surveillance

05.07.2013 - 17:32

A EU-US working group on data protection and privacy will convene on Monday July 8, European Commission President Jose Barroso confirmed earlier today. 

According to Barroso, the EU will be represented by the Commission, the Presidency of the Council and the External Action Service. The meeting will be on the EU side chaired by the Commission and the Presidency.

Its task is to clarify issues such as data protection and privacy rights of European Union citizens, falling within the competence of the European Union, Barroso said while answering questions during a press conference for the launch of the Lithuanian presidency of the EU. 

Barroso clarified that intelligence matters do not fall within the competences of the European Union and will be discussed by the Member States with the United States. 

The meeting coincides with the launch of the negotiations for a free trade deal between the EU and the US, the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. 

In the past few days France had called for a delay to the negotiations after it an extensive US surveillance program, which monitored both citizen online communications and those of EU embassies, was revealed. There were also revelations of a similar French intelligence program.