European Parliament gives consent to EU countries to ratify the protocol amending the Council of Europe data protection convention to adapt it to the digital era.

The amending protocol intends to modernise and harmonise the Council of Europe data protection convention (Convention 108) in response to emerging privacy challenges, and to ensure it is adequately applied. The recommendation, adopted on 12 March 2019 with 624 votes to 12 and 27 abstentions, underlines that the new protocol will facilitate the exchange of personal data based on appropriate safeguards.

The text will also ease data sharing between the EU and non-EU parties to the convention, MEPs say. Moreover, the amending text introduces the possibility for the EU and other international organisations to join the convention.

Under the currents rules only states can be parties of the data protection convention which is why the EU cannot sign or ratify the amending protocol.


The amending protocol was developed in parallel with the European data protection reform package. Consequently, the amended convention is fully consistent with EU relevant instruments such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Police Directive.

Next steps

The Council can now authorise member states to ratify the amending protocol.