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The European Data Protection Board has decided to work closely on strategic matters
At a two-day meeting of the members of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) at the end of April 2022, a decision was taken to strengthen the cooperation on strategic matters and to expand the range of methods used. Under this agreement, data protection authorities are free to join forces in groups on investigative and law enforcement activities, and in this way, tasks can be shared in these groups. A working group may be set up in EDPB, if necessary.
Data protection authorities are committed to exchanging information on national law enforcement strategies with a view to agreeing on annual enforcement priorities at EDPB level, which in turn may be reflected in their national law enforcement programs. A common law enforcement framework, including common inspection tools, could be established.
The agreement emphasizes the importance of further harmonizing certain administrative procedural aspects of the relevant legislation of the Member States and identifying those that can be further harmonized at EU level in order to enhance the positive impact of the Regulation. This, in turn, will help to bridge the gap and ensure more effective implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.
It was noted that in the last four years, many resources have been invested in the interpretation and consistent application of the GDPR, as at least 57 guidelines and 6 recommendations have been adopted. At the end of 2021, the fines reached 1.55 billion euros.
In line with the reached agreement, the Chair of the EDPB Andrea Jelinek stated, “In order to cope with this growing workload and to make the most effective use of the opportunities for cooperation provided for in the GDPR, we will identify a number of strategic cross-border cases each year. An action plan with a fixed timetable for cooperation will be prepared for these cases. All members of the EDPB are working closely together and are focusing on practical solutions to strengthen the capacity of data protection authorities."