Outsider recommended as new EU Data Protection Supervisor

By EDRi · May 21, 2003

In their vote yesterday on the future EU Data Protection Supervisor, the
Committee of the European Parliament on Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
produced a very surprising result. Out of 8 possible candidates, a majority
of the MEPs voted for the only candidate who has no record of dealing with
privacy, data protection or even the protection of any other civil rights.

Joaquín Bayo Delgado has become known to regular readers of the Official
Bulletin of the State of Spain as the dean of the university of Barcelona,
and that’s about it. His election – at the expense of likely candidates as
Netherlands Data Protection Commissioner Peter Hustinx or Commission Data
Protection tsar Ulf Brühann – seems to be the result of a behind-the-scenes
deal between the forepersons of the Social Democrat and the Conservative
Groups in the LIBE Committee, Anna Terrón i Cusí and Jorge Salvador
Hernandez-Mollar, both of whom happen to be Spanish.

The vote was quite a complicated procedure, in which the political groups
had a certain number of points, according to their size, that they could
place on the different candidates. The candidates and their results were as

1. Joaquin Bayo Delgado (Spain), Magistrado-Juez Decano, Barcelona (56 points)
2. Waltraut Kotschy (Austria), Datenschutzbeauftragte des Europarats,
Mitglied der österr. Datenschutzkommission, Vienna (51 points)
3. Peter Johan Hustinx (Netherlands), College bescherming persoonsgegevens
(CBP), The Hague (50 points)
4. Ulrich Dammann (Germany), 2. stellv. Bundesbeauftragter für den
Datenschutz, BMInneres, Berlin (48 points)
5. Anne Carblanc (France), OECD, Paris (41 points)
6. Ian John Harden, Head of Legal Dept., Office of European Ombudsman,
Brussels (24 points)
7. Ulf Brühann (Germany), European Commission DG Market, Brussels (23 points)
8. Maurice Méda (France), Maitre des requetes au Conseil d’État, Paris (9
9. Francis George Aldhouse (UK), Deputy Information Commissioner, London (9

Brühann, who was regarded, along with Hustinx, as one of the ‘natural
candidates’, was voted by the Green and GUE (Left) Groups only, while
Hustinx was the candidate of the Liberal Democrat Group.

The vote is not a final decision, though. The list of the eight candidates
was the result of an obscure selection among the more than 300 applicants
for the position among Council and EP delegates. And the charades will
continue. After last Tuesday’s vote, which, in EP slang, was only
an ‘orientation vote’, a delegation of the LIBE Committee will meet on May
27 with the Permanent Representative of the Greek Presidency at the Council
to see whether the candidates who have found a majority in the Committee
are to the liking of the Council. If that is the case, they will vote once
more on June 2, and this time the vote will result in two definitive
candidates (the Assistant Supervisor will be voted, also). If everything
works well, the Conference of Presidents of the political groups in the EP
– and not the EP Plenary – will confirm the LIBE committee’s vote.

European Data Protection Supervisor

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