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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".

  • 17 August 2016

    The EDPS, in collaboration with European consumer organisation BEUC, is hosting a joint conference on Big Data: individual rights and smart enforcement. The conference will take place in Brussels on 29 September 2016. For more information on the conference and how to register, visit the EDPS Events page.

  • 05 August 2016

    Our IT services are undergoing scheduled maintenance from 12 to 15 August. Please note that, for technical reasons, we cannot guarantee that the complaints and annexed files submitted during this period will reach us - despite a possible acknowledgement of receipt. Should you not receive any acknowledgement of receipt within 10 working days from submitting your complaint, please do let us know.

  • 25 July 2016

    ePrivacy rules should be smarter, clearer, stronger. Read the EDPS opinion and the press release.

  • 18 July 2016

    Data protection and Whistleblowing in the EU Institutions. Please read the EDPS guidelines and the press release.

  • 15 July 2016

    The EDPS’ free app, EU Data Protection, has been updated! You can now consult the texts of General Data Protection Regulation (REG) 2016/679 and the Directive 2016/680 for the police and criminal justice sector alongside the texts they replace.

  • 26 July 2016

    Fablab on GDPR, Participation of Wojciech Wiewiórowski and Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 25 July 2016

    Extraordinary Plenary Session of the Article 29 Working Party, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 21 July 2016

    45th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum, Participation and speeches of Giovanni Buttarelli on Update on EU GDPR and Calibrating Privacy Principles to a Big Data and Digital Society, Singapore

  • 14 July 2016

    Launch of EU Data Protection Whitepaper, British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark, Keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 07 July 2016

    Marketing and profiling in the European Union, participation and speeches by Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium

  • 06 July 2016

    Privacy Laws & Business Annual International Conference, Wojciech Wiewiórowski in panels on Privacy terms and conditions and How data protection rules should be enforced in tandem with competition and consumer policy, Cambridge, UK

  • 06 July 2016

    Confindustria Radio Televisioni General Assembly 2016, Giovanni Buttarelli in a panel on Authority, Markets and Rights, Rome, Italy

  • 30 June 2016

    Reframing Data Transparency, Wojciech Wiewiórowski in a Roundtable Discussion organised by the Centre for Information Policy Leadership and Telefónica, London, UK