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Brussels, 18 January 2013

EDPS Inventory 2013:
data protection is essential across all EU policy areas

Today, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published his 2013 work programme in the area of legislative consultation, including his strategic planning document, the Inventory. With this document, the EDPS identifies issues of strategic importance that will form the cornerstone of his consultation work for 2013.

Peter Hustinx, EDPS: "We live in a technically-mediated world that is constantly evolving. The visibility and relevance of data protection is, thus, greater than ever. The need to take account of the privacy and data protection implications of legislative proposals is becoming essential in all areas of EU policy and leads to an influx of new policy areas for us to deal with. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the fundamental right to data protection cannot be regulated only in data protection law, but that many other different policy areas have to take data protection into account."

As the EDPS faces increasing challenges and activities at a period of budget restraint, the Inventory outlines a strategy and actions that will maximise the impact of the EDPS' work on data protection at EU level and increase efficiency by being more selective and making the best use of resources.

The key areas of strategic importance that will form the basis of the EDPS' consultation work for 2013 comprise:

  • A new legal framework for data protection,

  • Technological developments and the Digital Agenda,

  • Further developing the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice,

  • Financial sector reform, and

  • eHealth

In addition, the EDPS will consider issuing opinions on the integration of data protection in other policy areas of the EU, such as competition and trade.

The ongoing work on one of the largest legislative dossiers in recent years - the two proposals for reforming the EU data protection framework - is the subject of intense speculation and interest to stakeholders at national, European and international level.

The review process has now reached an advanced stage; the EDPS issued a comprehensive opinion on the legislative proposals on 7 March 2012, closely followed the review process and fulfilled his advisory role in the course of 2012 by intervening at the appropriate stages and in the appropriate fora. The EDPS will continue to follow developments and foresees ongoing and timely involvement in this and related upcoming initiatives, such as on ePrivacy.

The EDPS is committed to devoting substantial resources in 2013 to the analysis of these strategic areas and in addition, will monitor a number of (non or less strategic) initiatives which may nonetheless have data protection relevance.

Background information

One of the duties of the EDPS as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 is to advise the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council on proposals for new legislation and a wide range of other issues that have an impact on data protection.

Personal data: any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural (living) person. Examples include names, dates of birth, photographs, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. Other details such as health data, data used for evaluation purposes and traffic data on the use of telephone, email or internet are also considered personal data.

EU institutions and bodies/EU administration: all institutions, bodies, offices or agencies operating for the European Union (e.g. European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the European Union, European Central Bank, specialised and decentralised EU agencies).

The Inventory and the Priorities for 2013 are available on the EDPS website. For more information:

EDPS - The European guardian of data protection

Follow us on Twitter: @EU_EDPS

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