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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".

  • 01 December 2016

    An ethical approach to fundamental rights - read the latest blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli

  • 18 November 2016

    Breaking the rules: conducting administrative inquiries in the EU institutions - read the latest blogpost by Wojciech Wiewiórowski

  • 15 November 2016

    An ancient city looking to the future: The 38th International Privacy Conference in Marrakech - read the latest blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli

  • 08 November 2016

    A smart approach: counteract the bias in artificial intelligence - read the latest blogpost by Giovanni Buttarelli.

  • 07 November 2016

    Data protection for digital communication - read the latest blogpost by Wojciech Wiewiórowski.

  • 07 December 2016

    Conference on Economic Developments in European Competition Policy, Big Data and the Search for a Competition Problem, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 06 December 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli meeting Terrell McSweeny, Commissioner, US Federal Trade Commission, Brussels Belgium

  • 01 December 2016

    7th Annual Data Protection and Privacy Conference, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium

  • 01 December 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli meeting with Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, Brussels, Belgium

  • 29 November 2016

    Giovanni Buttarelli participates in the meeting of High Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability, Brussels, Belgium

  • 29 November 2016

    46th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum, panel on International Cooperation. Personal Data Protection Agreements. Relevant Experiences and Convention 108, Speech by Wojciech Wiewiórowski, Manzanillo, Mexico

  • 28 November 2016

    Wojciech Wiewiórowski receives a delegation from Korea Internet Security Agency, Brussels, Belgium

  • 25 November 2016

    Wojciech Wiewiórowski pays a visit to European Union Intellectual Property Office, Alicante, Spain