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Parliament votes on top pick for new EU data chief

GUE/NGL MEP Cornelia Ernst has commented following a vote on Parliament's preferred choice for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).

The office of the EDPS is responsible for ensuring that all EU institutions and bodies respect people’s right to privacy when processing their personal data.

Ernst said: “We took a vote in Parliament's Civil Liberties committee today and I'm happy with the outcome; Giovanni Buttarelli (Italy) is the Parliament's top preference for the new head of the EDPS, with Wojciech Wiewiorowski (Poland) as his assistant. These candidates have so far proved to be serious about privacy and data protection.

“I do however have a number of reservations about the transparency of the selection process. For example, who were the members of the selection board and why was no information released to the public about the selection criteria? The role of the European Commission also raises questions: why did the Commission present two separate vacancy notices for the two almost identical posts? And how come the Selection board disqualified some very qualified candidates in the first round, and now suddenly thought they were fit to apply?”

She continued: “Given the recent attacks on privacy rights and data protection legislation in the EU, the EDPS has had an increasingly important role since it was set up as an independent supervisory authority in 2004. With such a standing this authority must be open, transparent, and impartial.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group