European Commission: 2012 Report on the Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS - 2012 Report on the Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (pdf) (Brussels, 8.5.2013, COM(2013) 271 final)

[...] In order to give full effect to the Charter in the digital age, the Commission has proposed a major reform of the EU's rules on the protection of personal data. Europe's historical experience has led to a common understanding in Europe that privacy is an integral part of human dignity and personal freedom. This is why the Charter recognises both the right to private life (Article 7) and the right to the protection of personal data (Article 8). The Treaty (Article 16, TFEU) gives the EU complementary legislative competence to establish harmonised EU data protection laws.
The Commission's proposals update and modernise the principles enshrined in the 1995 Directive to guarantee the right of personal data protection in the future. This reform provides for increased responsibility and accountability for those processing personal data and strengthens independent national data protection authorities. It introduces the ‘right to be forgotten’, which will help people better manage data protection risks online. The reform extends general data protection principles and rules to national police and criminal justice authorities. The new rules have been drafted to ensure a careful balance with all fundamental rights they may affect, such as freedom of expression. A meaningful example of this is that specific safeguards have been introduced in the proposal for data that is processed solely for journalistic purposes.

Press release here.