The European Commission should look for solutions, even possible new rules, to allow the retention of electronic communications data to fight crime without trampling on people’s privacy, European Union ministers said.

After a meeting in Luxembourg June 6, EU justice ministers agreed that the commission should look into “possible solutions for retaining data, including the consideration of a future legislative initiative,” according to an emailed statement. The EU’s top court in 2014 struck down the bloc’s data retention law for interfering “with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.”

An interim report...