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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".

  • 23 September 2016

    The coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of Big Data. Read the Opinion and press statement

  • 22 September 2016

    Migration, security and fundamental rights: A critical challenge for the EU. Read the Opinions and the press release.

  • 08 September 2016

    Accountability needs technology! - read the latest blogpost by Wojciech Wiewiórowski.

  • 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.

  • 30 September 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli pays an accountability visit to the European Court of Justice, Luxembourg

  • 30 September 2016

    Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli at the Seminar organised by the International Association of Lawyers on Data Protection in Financial Technology, Insurance and Medical Services: A new regulation and perspectives, Luxembourg

  • 29 September 2016

    EDPS-BEUC Conference on Big Data: individual rights and smart enforcement, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 28 September 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski meeting Michael O'Flaherty, the Director of the  EU Agency for Fundamental Rights Agency, Brussels, Belgium

  • 27 September 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli meeting Thomas Lösse-Mueller, Head Chancellery Schleswig Holstein, Brussels, Belgium

  • 27 September 2016

    107th Plenary meeting of the Article 29 Working Party, Participation of Giovanni Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Brussels, Belgium

  • 27 September 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli meeting Shadow Rapporteurs on smart borders proposals, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

  • 26 September 2016

    Seminar on data protection at University of Bologna, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Bologna, Italy