The now-adopted text says that cookies can be stored on a user’s computer, or accessed from that computer, only if the user “has given his or her consent, having been provided with clear and comprehensive information”. An exception exists where the cookie is “strictly necessary” for the provision of a service “explicitly requested” by the user. (The official text is found in a 96-page PDF. OUT-LAW has a summary of the relevant parts.)
Read more on Out-Law.com.