EDPS Conference 2022: A pan-European approach is going to be necessary for effective enforcement

(Source: European Data Protection Supervisor)

EDPS Conference 2022: A pan-European approach is going to be necessary for effective enforcement

This week, on 16 and 17 June 2022, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Wojciech Wiewiórowski welcomed over 2000 participants, both in-person and remotely, at his conference titled, “The future of data protection: effective enforcement in the digital world”.

With a line-up of over 100 distinguished speakers sharing their different views and visions, a total of 16 breakout sessions, workshops, and more, the two-day conference of the EDPS fostered crucial conversations on the future of data protection.

In his keynote speech delivered today to conference participants, Wojciech Wiewiórowski stated that he strongly believes that a pan-European data protection enforcement model is going to be a necessary step to ensuring real and consistent high-level protection of the fundamental rights to data protection and privacy across the European Union (EU).

This statement comes after two days of important discussions on the need for effective enforcement, and collective consideration for building a culture of compliance, following reflections on what currently works under the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) governance model, and what could be improved.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, EDPS, said: “Such a model would not only mitigate the problem of uneven allocation of responsibilities, but would also help to ensure real consistency in data protection law across the EU, including through strong mechanisms of collegiality. With full respect to the principle of subsidiarity, key investigations, based on a certain threshold, the modalities of which should be further discussed, could be conducted at a central level. This would also aid in overcoming potential issues stemming from incompatible national legislation or patchwork harmonisation attempts.”

Such long-term vision for the future of data protection is independent of recommendations made to improve coordination and enforcement within the current framework, which the discussions at the conference showed are a crucial and important step possible already in the immediate future. This long-term vision of the EDPS seeks to further translate into reality the GDPR’s common objective of protecting people and fostering the realisation of their rights in an effective manner.

Background information

The rules for data protection in the EU institutions, as well as the duties of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), are set out in Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

The EDPS is the independent supervisory authority with responsibility for monitoring the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies, advising on policies and legislation that affect privacy and cooperating with similar authorities to ensure consistent data protection. Our mission is also to raise awareness on risks and protect people’s rights and freedoms when their personal data is processed.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski (EDPS), was appointed by a joint decision of the European Parliament and the Council on to serve a five-year term, beginning on 6 December 2019.

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