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Supervision and enforcement


One of the EDPS' main tasks is to supervise personal data processing by the  European institutions and bodies . This supervision work takes various forms.

The bulk of it is based on notifications of processing operations presenting specific risks. These need to be prior checked by the EDPS. Based on the facts submitted to him, the EDPS will examine the processing of personal data in relation to the Data Protection Regulation ( Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 ). In most cases, this exercise leads to a set of recommendations that the institution or body need to implement so as to ensure compliance with data protection rules.

The EDPS receives complaints from EU staff members as well as from other people who feel that their personal data have been mishandled by a European institution or body. If a complaint is admissible, the EDPS usually carries out an inquiry. The findings are communicated to the complainant, and necessary measures are adopted.

The EDPS may adopt opinions on administrative measures related to data protection adopted by European institutions and bodies.

The EDPS may carry out inquiries on his own initiative. Inquiries and inspections are essential for a supervisory authority to have the means for fact-finding, following up of cases and monitoring of compliance in general. 

In order to monitor compliance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, the EDPS largely relies on the Data Protection Officers (DPOs) who are to be appointed in each institution/body. Apart from bilateral meetings and contacts with the DPOs, the EDPS also takes part in the regular meetings of the DPO network.

Since January 2004, the EDPS has ensured the supervision of the central unit of Eurodac. An essential aspect of this supervision is the cooperation with national supervisory authorities and the drawing up recommendations for common solutions to existing problems.

The EDPS publishes thematic guidelines on critical issues to serve as reference documents for the European administration.

In December 2010 the EDPS adopted a policy paper entitled: "Monitoring and Ensuring Compliance with Regulation (EC) 45/2001".

  • 31 May 2016

    Big Brother, Big Data and Ethics. Read the latest blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli.

  • 30 May 2016

    Privacy Shield: more robust and sustainable solution needed. Read the opinion and the press release.

  • 26 May 2016

    Time for Europe's data protection authorities to raise their game. Read the new blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli.

  • 24 May 2016

    Data protection for the digital generation: the countdown to the GDPR begins. Read the EDPS Annual Report 2015 and the press release.

  • 23 May 2016

    To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions will hold the annual EU Open Day on 28 May 2016. The EDPS stand will be located on the first floor of the European Parliament, so make sure you pass by and check out our fun and interactive activities! More information about EU Open Day and the EDPS stand can be found on the EDPS Events page.

  • 01 June 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli on an accountability visit at the European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg

  • 31 May 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski participate in the first EDPS-Ethics Advisory Group Workshop on Ethics and Data Protection, Brussels, Belgium

  • 26 May 2016

    Spring Conference, Participation and keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Budapest, Hungary

  • 26 May 2016

    Spring Conference, Participation and speech by Wojciech Wiewiórowski on GDPR – what next? Practical implications for national legislators, DPAs, data controllers, Budapest, Hungary

  • 25 May 2016

    Wojciech Wiewiórowski visits the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Budapest, Hungary

  • 25 May 2016

    General Data Protection Regulation and Startups, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

  • 25 May 2016

    AmCham EU’s Plenary Meeting, Keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 24 May 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli presents the EDPS Annual Report 2015 to the LIBE Committee, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium