CJEU - Joined Cases C 141/12 and C 372/12c / Judgment YS v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel, and Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel v M and S

Key facts of the case:
 
(Request for a preliminary ruling — Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data — Directive 95/46/EC — Articles 2, 12 and 13 — Concept of ‘personal data’ — Scope of the right of access of a data subject — Data relating to the applicant for a residence permit and legal analysis contained in an administrative document preparatory to the decision — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Articles 8 and 41)
 
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
 
70. Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the referring court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.
 
On those grounds, the Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:
  1. Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data must be interpreted as meaning that the data relating to an applicant for a residence permit contained in an administrative document, such as the ‘minute’ at issue in the main proceedings, setting out the grounds that the case officer puts forward in support of the draft decision which he is responsible for drawing up in the context of the procedure prior to the adoption of a decision concerning the application for such a permit and, where relevant, the data in the legal analysis contained in that document, are ‘personal data’ within the meaning of that provision, whereas, by contrast, that analysis cannot in itself be so classified.
  2. Article 12(a) of Directive 95/46 and Article 8(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as meaning that an applicant for a residence permit has a right of access to all personal data concerning him which are processed by the national administrative authorities within the meaning of Article 2(b) of that directive. For that right to be complied with, it is sufficient that the applicant be in possession of a full summary of those data in an intelligible form, that is to say a form which allows that applicant to become aware of those data and to check that they are accurate and processed in compliance with that directive, so that he may, where relevant, exercise the rights conferred on him by that directive.
  3. Article 41(2)(b) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as meaning that the applicant for a residence permit cannot rely on that provision against the national authorities.
Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

59. In situations such as those in the main proceedings, it follows from the answer given in paragraph 48 above that only the data relating to the applicant for a residence permit contained in the minute and, where relevant, the data in the legal analysis contained in the minute are ‘personal data’ within the meaning of Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46. Consequently the right of access which that applicant may rely on under Article 12(a) of Directive 95/46 and Article 8(2) of the Charter relates solely to those data. For that right of access to be complied with, it is sufficient for the applicant for a residence permit to be provided with a full summary of all of those data in an intelligible form, that is, a form which allows him to become aware of those data and to check that they are accurate and processed in compliance with that directive, so that he may, where relevant, exercise the rights conferred on him by Articles 12(b) and (c), 14, 22 and 23 of that directive.

60. It follows from the foregoing considerations that the answer to the third and fifth questions in Case C‑141/12 and the first and second questions in Case C‑372/12 is that Article 12(a) of Directive 95/46 and Article 8(2) of the Charter must be interpreted as meaning that an applicant for a residence permit has a right of access to all personal data concerning him which are processed by the national administrative authorities within the meaning of Article 2(b) of that directive. For that right to be complied with, it is sufficient for the applicant to be provided with a full summary of those data in an intelligible form, that is, a form which allows him to become aware of those data and to check that they are accurate and processed in compliance with that directive, so that he may, where relevant, exercise the rights conferred on him by that directive.