Civil liberties MEPs vote on their preferences for EU data protection watchdog
Mr Giovanni Buttarelli was voted top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday after three and a half hours of hearings on Monday evening. Top candidate for Assistant Supervisor is Mr Wojciech Wiewiorowski. The appointments still need to be agreed with the Council of Ministers.
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and Assistant Supervisor are appointed for five-year terms to ensure that all EU institutions, bodies, agencies and offices respect people's right to privacy when processing their personal data.
The order of preference of the Civil Liberties Committee for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor is:
- Mr Buttarelli (Italy) - 34 votes
- Mr Padova (France) - 21 votes
- Mr Wiewiorowski (Poland) - 10 votes
- Ms Lenoir (France) - 4 votes
- Ms Biondi (UK) - 1 vote
The order of preference for the post of Assistant Supervisor is:
- Mr Wiewiorowski - 53 votes
- Mr Buttarelli - 9 votes
- Ms Lenoir - 3 votes
- Ms Biondi - 2 votes
The vote follows a hearing on Monday night where the five candidates shortlisted by the Commission were quizzed by MEPs on issues such as the reform of EU data protection rules, and in particular how data protection laws would cope with evolving new technologies, the “right to be forgotten”, the effects of the European Court of Justice ruling annulling the data retention directive, the scandal of US National Security Agency mass surveillance of EU citizens, the “safe harbour" agreement and the overall balance between data protection and security.
The recording of the hearings is available online at the link on the right.
The committee’s preferences will now be put to the Conference of Presidents (EP President and group leaders) in the form of a letter. It will then be for the Conference of Presidents to reach an agreement with the Council on the final appointments.
The European Parliament and the Council appoint the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Assistant Supervisor “by common accord” from a list drawn up by the Commission following a public call for candidates.
The posts of European Data Protection Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor were established by Regulation 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies to ensure that the institutions comply with the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and in particular their right to privacy. The first EDPS took up office in 2004.
In the Chair: Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)