European Data Protection Supervisor
European Data Protection Supervisor

Transparency

Transparency

The EU institutions and bodies make decisions and adopt legislation that affect the lives of all those living in its Member States. The decisions affecting them must be taken as openly as possible. You have the right to know why, how and who is involved in making these decisions and laws. You also have the fundamental right of access to the documents prepared in these activities.

Similarly, transparency is a core principle in data protection. You have the right to know which of your personal data are collected, used, consulted or otherwise processed and to what extent the personal data are or will be processed.

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25/01/2013
25
Jan
2013

Factsheet 2 - Transparency in the EU administration: Your right to access documents

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The European institutions and bodies make decisions and adopt legislation that affect the lives of all citizens in European Member States. As a citizen you have the right to know why, how and who is involved in making these decisions and laws. Factsheet 4 explains your right of access to the documents prepared in these activities.

Further readingPDF icon
13/12/2012
13
Dec
2012

Statute and funding of European political parties

Opinion of 13 December 2012 the European Data Protection Supervisor on the Proposal for a Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations

12/12/2012
12
Dec
2012
14/11/2012
14
Nov
2012

Video-surveillance: Helping EU institutions and bodies to get the message across

Today, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued his report on the findings of some on-the-spot inspections conducted between 15 June and 18 July 2012 on the premises of thirteen Brussels-based EU institutions and bodies.

15/10/2012
15
Oct
2012

Open internet

EDPS comments on DG Connect's public consultation on specific aspects of transparency, traffic management and switching in an open internet

09/10/2012
9
Oct
2012

Financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy (transparency, post-Schecke)

Opinion on the Amendment to the Commission proposal COM(2011) 628 final/2 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy

18/04/2012
18
Apr
2012

Open-Data Package

Opinion on the 'Open-Data Package' of the European Commission including a Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2003/98/EC on re-use of public sector information (PSI)

More information on  re-use of public service information

14/12/2011
14
Dec
2011

Common Agricultural Policy after 2013

Opinion on the legal proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013, OJ C 35/01, 09.02.2012, p.1

See also the text of the 'Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy'

See also the text of the 'Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation)'

See also the text of the 'Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)'

See also the text of the 'Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy'

15/04/2011
15
Apr
2011
15/04/2011
15
Apr
2011

Financial rules applicable to the annual budget of the Union

Opinion on the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the annual budget of the Union, OJ C 215/05, 21.07.2011, p.13

24/03/2011
24
Mar
2011

Data protection and transparency: EDPS updates guidance for good practice in the EU administration

On 24 March 2011, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published a background paper on public access to documents containing personal data, to serve as guidance for EU institutions.

The paper explains the updated EDPS position on the matter following the ruling of the European Court of Justice in the Bavarian Lager case on the reconciliation of the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection with the fundamental right to public access to documents and transparency (*).

24/03/2011
24
Mar
2011

Public access to documents and data protection

Transparency and data protection are both essential elements of democratic life in the EU, and both contribute to good governance. The interaction between these rights - i.e. the way in which to deal with public access to documents containing personal data - may however be perceived as difficult. Providing guidelines for the EU administration, the paper describes the two rights and their legal backgrounds. It also gives a list of examples and a checklist.

When dealing with these cases, it is imperative that the responsible officials make a concrete and individual examination of the specific document. Firstly, disclosure can only be refused if the privacy of an individual is at stake. Secondly, the negative effect of disclosure of someone's personal data must be substantial and thirdly it has to be examined if data protection legislation allows disclosure.

 

Public access to documents containing personal data after the Bavarian Lager rulingPDF icon
Background document PDF icon
Speech delivered at LIBE Committee on 12 July 2005PDF icon
Conclusions on releasing further information about lobbyists, 31 August 2006PDF icon
13/12/2010
13
Dec
2010

Data protection compliance in the EU administration: EDPS adopts comprehensive policy on supervision and enforcement

Today, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted a policy paper that sets out the framework within which he monitors, measures and ensures data protection compliance in the EU administration. The policy signals a fundamental change of gear in the field of enforcement.

The policy seeks to encourage voluntary compliance and best practice and create sufficient incentives for compliance by:

03/12/2010
3
Dec
2010

2009 Annual Report - A year of major importance for the fundamental right to data protection

The report shows that 2009 was of major importance for the fundamental right to data protection.

This is due to a number of key developments: the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty, ensuring a strong legal basis for comprehensive data protection in all areas of EU policy; the start of a public consultation on the future of the EU legal framework for data protection; and the adoption of a new five-year policy programme for the area of freedom, security and justice ("Stockholm Programme") with the emphasis on the importance of data protection in this area.

The EDPS has been highly involved in these fields and is determined to pursue this course in the near future. 

You can obtain a paper version of this Annual Report on EU Bookshop

Full text of the Annual Report:PDF icon
30/06/2010
30
Jun
2010

Review of relationship between transparency and data protection more urgent after Court ruling on Bavarian Lager

The European Court of Justice has issued its ruling on the so-called "Bavarian Lager" case (*), a case that has been closely followed as a key case on the question on how best to reconcile the fundamental right to the protection of personal data with the fundamental right of public access to documents.

The Court of Justice clarified certain key concepts in the Data Protection Regulation (**) and interpreted the Access to Documents Regulation (***) with regard to the right to privacy and data protection. 

24/09/2009
24
Sep
2009

2008 Annual Report - First mandate concludes with substantial progress in data protection compliance

This Report, which covers 2008 as the fourth full year of activity of the EDPS, concludes the first EDPS mandate and provides an opportunity to take stock of developments since the start.

The report shows that significant progress was achieved both in the EDPS supervisory and advisory tasks. Most Community institutions and bodies are making good progress in ensuring compliance with data protection rules, but there are still great challenges ahead. The EDPS supervision work is therefore putting more emphasis on measuring the level of compliance in practice, in particular through more systematic verifications on the spot, and on monitoring the implementation of recommendations in prior checking.

The EDPS also further improved his performance as an advisor to the European institutions and submitted opinions on an increasing number of legislative proposals. The majority of the EDPS opinions continued to concern issues related to the area of freedom, security and justice. Other subjects, such as e-privacy, public access to documents, the establishment of information systems and access to those systems, cross-border healthcare and new technologies were also quite prominent.

You can obtain a paper version of this Annual Report on EU Bookshop.

Full text of the Annual Report:PDF icon
10/07/2009
10
Jul
2009

"Stockholm Programme" - An Area of freedom, security and justice serving the citizen

Opinion on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on an Area of freedom, security and justice serving the citizen, OJ C 276, 17.11.2009, p. 8

05/05/2009
5
May
2009

EDPS welcomes 500th prior-check notification and introduces online public register of notifications for greater transparency

On 30 April, in his sixth year of activity, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) received the 500th prior-check notification on a processing of personal data in the EU administration. For reasons of transparency, a register of all notifications for prior checking received by the EDPS is now publicly available on the EDPS website.

17/03/2009
17
Mar
2009
12/03/2009
12
Mar
2009

EDPS: European Parliament reaches correct balance between transparency and data protection

Following yesterday's vote in the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has expressed his satisfaction with how the Parliament addressed the delicate issue of reconciling transparency requirements with data protection obligations.

Although some legal fine-tuning is still needed, the amendments adopted by MEPs clearly reflect an approach which strives for a proper balance between transparency on the one hand and data protection on the other.

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