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National Legislation within the Framework of the GDPR

Limits and Opportunities of Member State Data Protection Law

Julian Wagner, Alexander Benecke

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/EDPL/2016/3/10

After several years of deliberation, the European Union has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation. Considering that the Regulation is directly applicable in all Member States after coming into effect, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have an enormous impact on national data protection legislation. However, this does not necessarily signal the end of national data protection law because unlike most other common European Regulations, the GDPR provides Member States with some latitude to enact national legislation. These opening clauses, however, give rise to questions of liberties and limitations of future national data protection legislation. In this article, we will examine some of the most important opening clauses and illustrate the different options available to Member States as set forth in the GDPR.

Julian Wagner, LL.M. Eur. and Alexander Benecke are research assistants at the chair for Public Law, Information Law, Environmental Law and Administrative Sciences at the Goethe-University Frankfurt a. M., Germany - Prof. Dr. Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann, LL.M. (Georgetown Univesity). The authors would like to thank Nora Hesse, Dipl.-Jur., and Karen Summerville, J.D., for their critical review. A version of this article with particular emphasis on the impacts of the opening clauses of the GDPR to German law was first published in Deutsches Verwaltungsblatt (DVBl) (2016) 600-609.


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