Still no EU Data Protection Supervisor

By EDRi · October 22, 2003

European discussions can’t agree on the appointment of a European
privacy-czar. The European parliament insists on choosing Joaquín Bayo
Delgado, who has no experience in data protection issues, as the new EU
Data Protection Supervisor. The Council favours the Dutch Data Protection
Commissioner Peter Hustinx.

Jorge Salvador Hernández Mollar, the President of the European
Parliament’s Committee on Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home
Affairs (LIBE), recently made a move to break the blockade between the
Parliament and the Council on the issue. In a letter sent on 10 October to
Umberto Vattani, the Permanent Representative of Italy with the European
Union, Mr. Hernández expresses the hope that “each institution should
accept the first choice of the others”, which seems to be diplomatic
language meaning that the Council should accept the choice of the

LIBE’s indicative vote on 20 May 20 showed a slight but clear majority of
votes for Joaquín Bayo Delgado, the only candidate from the nine-person
list with no experience in Data Protection whatsoever. The Greek Council
Presidency made it known to the Parliament that it would not accept this
candidate. The Council instead favoured Peter Hustinx, the Dutch Data
Protection Commissioner, who has indeed been very active on the
international scene.

In an informal meeting following the vote both institutions agreed to
disagree, sticking to their different candidates. The rules for the
nomination of the Data Protection Commissioner and his Assistant did not
foresee any procedure for such a situation. Blame it on the rules – since
then, the silence between the Council and Parliament was only interrupted
by occasional letters confirming to the respective other side that the
authors were still not willing to leave their positions. Mr. Hernández, it
seems, was hoping for the Greek Presidency to be replaced by Italy, whose
government is politically closer to his own Spanish Popular Party. The two
parties are also in the same Group within the European Parliament, the
Conservative PPE. The fact that Italy has still not reacted, however, may
be an indication that the split doesn’t follow party lines, but that the
question is understood as a national issue. The other outspoken backer of
Mr. Bayo Delgado, besides Mr. Hernández, is Ana Terrón i Cusí. She is a
member of the Social Democrat PSE Group, but she is Spanish, as are
Hernández Mollar and Bayo Delgado.

The procedure of choosing an EU Data Protection Supervisor started one
year ago.

EU Commission: EU Data Protection Supervisor

Outsider recommended as new EU Data Protection Supervisor (EDRI-gram 9)

EU data protection supervisor: contest not over yet (EDRI-gram 10)

(Contribution by Andreas Dietl, consultant on EU privacy issues)