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Parliamentary questions
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11 June 2018
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-002044/2018

According to its Article 51(1), the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is addressed to Member States only when they are implementing EC law. National provisions regulating police investigatory powers such as the draft law referred to by the Honourable Member fall, as such, under national competence. In such cases, it is for Member States, including their judicial authorities, to ensure that fundamental rights are effectively respected and protected in line with their national legislation and international human rights obligations.

However, as regards specifically the processing of personal data, EC law, namely Directive 2016/680, applies. This directive applies to data processing by the competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security.

According to the directive, personal data can be processed (including collected) by the competent authorities only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes. Such data should be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.

In the ‘Digital Rights Ireland’(1) case, the Court of Justice of the EU held that the interference with fundamental rights from Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter has to be precisely circumscribed by provisions to ensure that it is actually limited to what is strictly necessary.

By 6 May 2018, Member States, including German ‘Länder’, had to transpose Directive 2016/680 into their national laws. The Commission will assess the compatibility of national laws with the requirements of the directive, including of legislation such as the Bavarian Law on Police Powers.

(1)C — 293/12 & C — 594/12, Digital Rights Ireland, April 2014, ECLI:EU:C:2014:238.

Last updated: 14 June 2018Legal notice