Introduction

The European Parliament is committed to protect your personal data and to respect your privacy. The European Parliament collects and further processes personal data pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018, on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data.

This privacy statement explains the reason for the processing of your personal data, the way we collect, handle and ensure protection of all personal data provided, how that information is used and what rights you have in relation to your personal data. It also specifies the contact details of the responsible Data Controller with whom you may exercise your rights, the Data Protection Officer and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

This privacy statement concerns the processing of personal data by the European Parliament when handling initial and confirmatory applications for access to documents lodged under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 undertaken by the Transparency Unit in the Directorate-General for the Presidency of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament is not responsible for the processing of personal data by the operators of private websites and platforms not officially related to the institution that have been used to lodge an application for public access to Parliament documents.

Why and how do we process your personal data?

The European Parliament performs the processing operation ‘Access to Documents’ for the purpose of handling your applications for public access to documents lodged under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, establishing an annual statistical report under Article 17(1) of that Regulation, and following up on an inquiry by the European Ombudsman or in case of court proceedings.

The processing operation ‘Access to Documents’ covers the processing of personal data in relation to:

  • verification of compliance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and the European Parliament’s implementing measures; and
  • communication with applicants.

The purpose of processing non-compulsory data introduced by applicants is to further facilitate the handling of applications and to improve the annual statistical report.

Applicants introduce their data when they lodge an application for public access to Parliament documents via the website or the functional mailbox AccesDocs@europarl.europa.eu , or via traditional mail (in paper format).

Your personal data will not be used for automated decision-making, including profiling.

The European Parliament processes your personal data:

  • in accordance with point (a) of Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, because processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest; and
  • in accordance with point (b) of Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, because processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the European Parliament is subject.

The above-mentioned processing is based on Union law, namely Article 15(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 .

Furthermore, the processing of non-compulsory personal data you provide in your application for public access to documents is based on your consent, in accordance with point (d) of Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

Which personal data do we collect and process?

In order to carry out the above-mentioned activity, we collect and process:

a) Personal data provided by the applicant via the online application form:

  • Compulsory data: first name and surname, nationality, title (Mr/Ms), specific contact details (e-mail and postal address, country of residence), subject of the request (may contain personal data in case it relates to an identified or identifiable natural person);
  • Non-compulsory data: other contact details (telephone number), profession and organisation;

b) Personal data, provided by the applicant in an application submitted via a different electronic or paper format;

c) Personal data contained in any other correspondence with the applicant.

How long do we keep your personal data?

The European Parliament only keeps your personal data for the time necessary to fulfil the purpose of collection or further processing, namely no longer than five years after the closure of a case-file.

At the initial stage, a file is considered closed after the initial decision of the European Parliament has become final (i.e. the time limit of 15 working days since reception of the decision has expired and no confirmatory application has been filed), unless follow-up is required by an enquiry of the European Ombudsman.

In such a case, a file is considered closed if the European Ombudsman has closed its enquiry in relation to the complaint without any need for further action on the part of the European Parliament with regard to the application for public access to documents.

At the confirmatory stage, a file is considered closed after the confirmatory decision of the European Parliament has become final, namely:

- the time limit for bringing proceedings before the Union Courts has expired; or

- the Union Courts have confirmed the confirmatory decision; or

- the European Parliament completed the follow-up requested by the Union Courts.

A file is not considered closed despite the confirmatory decision being final in case of an enquiry of the European Ombudsman requiring follow-up. In such a case, a file is considered closed if the European Ombudsman has closed its enquiry in relation to the complaint without any need for further action on the part of the European Parliament with regard to the application for public access to documents.

This ‘administrative retention period’ of five years is based on the retention policy of European Parliament documents and files (and the personal data contained in them), governed by the Bureau decision of 2 July 2012 on rules on document management in the European Parliament and its implementing measures adopted by Decision of the Secretary General of 25 October 2013.

That decision is a regulatory document in the form of a retention schedule that establishes the retention periods for different types of European Parliament files.

The ‘administrative retention period’ is the period during which the European Parliament departments are required to keep a file depending on its usefulness for administrative purposes and the relevant statutory and legal obligations. This period begins to run from the time when the file is closed.

After the ‘administrative retention period’, files concerning requests for access to documents (and the personal data contained in them) can be transferred to the Historical Archives of the European Parliament for historical purposes (for the processing operations concerning the Historical Archives, please see record reference N. 2 in Parliament’s Data Protection Register of Records).

How do we protect your personal data?

All data in electronic format (e-mails, documents, uploaded batches of data etc.) are stored either on the servers of the European Parliament or of its contractors.

The European Parliament’s contractors are bound by specific contractual clauses for any processing operations of your personal data on behalf of the European Parliament, and by the confidentiality obligations deriving from the transposition of the General Data Protection Regulation in the Union’s Member States.

In order to protect your personal data, the European Parliament has put in place a number of technical and organisational measures. Technical measures may include appropriate actions to address online security, risk of data loss, alteration of data or unauthorised access, taking into consideration the risk presented by the processing and the nature of the personal data being processed. Organisational measures include restricting access to the personal data solely to authorised persons with a legitimate need to know for the purposes of this processing operation.

Your personal data is only processed within the territory of the Union and is not transferred to third countries or international organisations.

Who has access to your personal data and to whom are they disclosed?

Access to your personal data is provided to authorised staff of the European Parliament responsible for carrying out the processing operation and according to the ‘need to know’ principle. Such staff abide by statutory, and when required, additional confidentiality clauses.

Personal data that appear in the documents requested may be disclosed to the public following an assessment under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, read in conjunction with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725. If you reside outside the EU and the European Parliament grants public access to documents you requested, personal data included in these documents will only be disclosed if such transfer fulfils the conditions of Chapter V of the Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 on international transfers of personal data.

The personal information collected on the applicants who request access to documents will not be given to any third party, except:

  • to the extent and for the purpose the European Parliament may be required to do so by law; and
  • for the purpose of dispatching access-to-documents decisions of the European Parliament by registered mail via the processor DHL International (established in Belgium).

What are your rights and how can you exercise them?

You have specific rights as a ‘data subject’ under Chapter III (Articles 14 to 25) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725. As regards this processing operation, you can exercise the following rights:

  • right to be informed (Articles 14 to 16 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725);
  • right to access your personal data (Article 17 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725);
  • right to rectification, in case your personal data are inaccurate or incomplete (Article 18 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725);
  • where applicable, the right to restrict the processing of your personal data (Article 20 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725) and the right to data portability (Article 22 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725); and
  • where applicable, the right to erasure of your personal data (Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725) and the right to object to the processing of your personal data on grounds relating to your particular situation (Article 23 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725). As long as a reply to the application for public access to documents has not yet been issued, the exercise of either of these two rights means that the respective application must be considered withdrawn.

Insofar the processing of your personal data is based on your consent (namely concerning non-mandatory personal data) you can withdraw your consent at any time by notifying the Data Controller. The withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of the processing carried out before you have withdrawn the consent.

You can exercise your rights by contacting the Data Controller, or, in case of conflict, the Data Protection Officer. If necessary, you can also address the European Data Protection Supervisor. Their contact information is given under section 'Contact' below.

where you wish to exercise your rights in the context of one or several specific processing operations, please provide their description in your request (in particular by providing a reference number, where available).

You will be provided with information on any request to exercise your above-mentioned rights within one month of receipt of your request by the Data Controller. That period may be extended by two further months where necessary, taking into account the complexity and number of the requests.

Contact

The Data Controller:

If you would like to exercise your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, or if you have comments, questions or concerns, or if you would like to submit a complaint regarding the collection and use of your personal data, please feel free to contact the Data Controller

European Parliament

Directorate-General for Presidency
Directorate for Inter-institutional Affairs and Legislative coordination
Transparency Unit
Rue Wiertz 60
B - 1047 BRUXELLES

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the European Parliament:

You may contact the Data Protection Officer with regard to issues related to the processing of your personal data under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725:

European Parliament Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Service
LUX - ADENAUER 14T012
L-2929 LUXEMBOURG

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS):

You have the right to have recourse (i.e. you can lodge a complaint) to the European Data Protection Supervisor ( edps@edps.europa.eu ) if you consider that your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 have been infringed as a result of the processing of your personal data by the Data Controller.

Where to find information that is more detailed?

The DPO of the European Parliament publishes the register of all processing operations on personal data by the European Parliament, which have been documented and notified to him. You may access the register at the following link:

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/data-protect/?language=en

This specific processing operation has been included in Parliament’s Data Protection Register of Records with record reference N.116.