Joint Statement by Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Reynders ahead of Data Protection Day
In view of Data Protection Day on 28 January, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, and Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, issued the following statement:
“European data protection laws have become a global benchmark for the protection of personal data and continuing to ensure their full implementation and robust enforcement remains our top priority. Last year saw the finalisation of the negotiations between the EU and the US on a new Data Privacy Framework, which allowed the Commission to launch the procedure to adopt an adequacy decision for trans-Atlantic data flows.
In 2022 we also saw several high-profile actions by the national Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) against big tech multinational companies, leading to a number of significant fines. Once again it was demonstrated that our one-stop mechanism works. In order to further strengthen the enforcement of the GDPR, and together with the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), we have started looking into ways to further enhance cooperation in cross-border cases. To that end, we will present a proposal this year to further harmonise relevant procedures for DPAs.
Our rules need to continue to keep up with digitalisation in services and products. Landmark legislation, such as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA) was adopted last year, building on the GDPR to ensure consistency across the board. EU data protection rules continue to provide a stable foundation for our digital policy”.
In 2006, the Council of Europe launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January.
In order to further enhance cooperation among Data Protection Authorities (DPAs), the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) organised a meeting of all the DPAs in Vienna on 26-28 April 2022. In the public statement following this meeting, the EDPB members reiterated their commitment to further enhance cooperation on strategic cases, and to diversify the range of cooperation methods used.
On 25 July 2022, the Commission published its first report on the application and functioning of the Directive on the protection of personal data in the field of law enforcement (Directive 2016/680). The report showed that the Directive has significantly contributed to a higher and more harmonised level of protection and a more coherent legal framework.
On 10 October 2022, the EDPB adopted a so called “wish list” of procedural aspects that could be further harmonised in EU law to maximise the positive impact of the cooperation between DPAs under the GDPR. As announced in the 2023 Work Programme, the Commission will propose to harmonise some procedural aspects of the work of DPAs to improve the cooperation among them when enforcing the GDPR.
On 14 October 2022, the Commission adopted the first report on the application of the Data Protection Regulation for European Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (Regulation 2018/1725), consisting of an overview of the application of the Regulation and of the activities of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).