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Data Protection in the European Union: the role of National Data Protection Authorities (Strengthening the fundamental rights architecture in the EU II)

The EU plays a pioneering role in the protection of personal data. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU enshrines the right to data protection as an autonomous fundamental right. Despite the underlying importance and centrality of the right to data protection in the EU, many deficiencies are present in the data protection system. This study on data protection identifies deficiencies in the EU Member States.

Objectives - Why this project and for whom?

This project studied the impact of data protection measures, the relevant legislative instruments and the work of the institutions active in this area, based on judicial statistical data and case law. The main purpose was to identify gaps in EU legislation and its implementation to ensure effective data protection and the development of opinions of FRA of how to develop the protection of the fundamental right of data protection further through new or amended EU legislation.

Details - What did the project involve?

This project was implemented through FRALEX, the legal experts group of the FRA. FRALEX national teams will produce national reports based on a detailed questionnaire developed by the Agency. The comparative report was then based on these national reports.

The project focused on the following topics at the national level:

  •          Mapping of national Data Protection Authorities (resources, powers and activities);
  •          Indicators for compliance with data protection law (number of data protection registrations; appointment of data protection officers)
  •          Number of cases, sanctions, compensation, legal consequences and remedies;
  •          Existing information on rights awareness;
  •          Analysis of deficiencies;
  •          Good practices;
  •          Case law collection for InfoBase online case law database.

The comparative study brought together the national studies. It contained an analysis of the EU acquis on data protection and of the relevant international standards and a comparison of EU Member States regarding: data protection authorities; indicators for compliance; sanctions and compensation policy; rights awareness. The comparative study also brought together the national analysis of deficiencies, as well as good practices. The report contained conclusions and opinions focusing on gaps in EU legislation and an assessment of the need to introduce new/ amend existing legislation in this area.

Innovation - What's 'new' about the project?

This was the Agency's first report on this topic.

Outputs - What did the project deliver?

  • One comparative report including conclusions and opinions of the Agency


   Data Protection in the European Union: the role of National Data Protection Authorities (Strengthening the fundamental rights architecture in the EU II)



  • 27 country reports.

Related Information

The background of this project is the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC of 24 October 1995, which triggered and guided the development of data protection law in the legislation of many EU Member States.

This project pages was last updated on 14.10.14