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Enhancing Cross-border Cooperation: A Proposed Regulation to Strengthen Data Protection Enforcement under the GDPR

Enhancing Cross-border Cooperation: A Proposed Regulation to Strengthen Data Protection Enforcement under the GDPR

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On July 4, the EU Commission introduced a new Procedural Regulation aimed at enhancing cooperation among data protection authorities (“DPAs“) when enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR“) in cross-border cases.

The Procedural Regulation focuses on establishing clear guidelines for DPAs handling cases involving individuals in multiple Member States without impacting any substantial elements of the GDPR, including the rights of data subjects, obligations of data controllers and processors, or the lawful grounds for processing personal data.

A notable aspect of the Procedural Regulation is a provision that mandates the lead DPA to share a “summary of key issues” with relevant counterparts. This summary is intended to outline the main elements of the investigation and provide insights into the lead authority’s stance on the matter, facilitating early input and a unified approach among authorities, thus mitigating the potential for divergent viewpoints.

For individuals, introducing these new rules will shed light on what they need to include in their complaints and ensure they are actively engaged in the process. Similarly, businesses will better understand their due process rights during DPA investigations into possible GDPR infringements.

The proposal streamlines cross-border complaints, making them easier to pursue by eliminating hindrances that arise from the variance in rules across DPAs. It also ensures that parties under investigation have a say throughout the process, including during dispute resolution by the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB“). The proposal clarifies the administrative file’s composition and delineates the parties’ entitlement to access it. In addition, it enables DPAs to exchange views early in investigations and employ collaborative instruments such as joint investigations and mutual assistance. The proposal also establishes specific rules to expedite the GDPR’s dispute resolution mechanism and sets standard cross-border cooperation and dispute resolution deadlines.

In essence, the proposed Procedural Regulation fosters a more expeditious and equitable process, facilitating timely investigations and the effective resolution of issues. Implementing these measures is anticipated to lead to faster case resolution, providing prompt remedies for individuals and instilling a greater degree of legal certainty for all parties involved.

By Branko Gabric, Counsel and Nikola Ivkovic, Associates, Gecic Law

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Committed to redefining a law firm's role in an emerging regional market, Gecić Law is a full-service law firm that advises international and local clients from the public and private sectors in navigating the complex legal landscape of the region across multiple practice areas. Members of the Gecić Law team have graduated from leading universities in the US and Europe. They have extensive local and international experience, with a particular focus on EU regulatory frameworks and international trade and a proven track record in providing innovative and practical solutions in the most complex of matters.

Gecić Law is an exclusive member of two leading global alliances, TerraLex and TAGLaw, extending its international footprint. The firm and its lawyers have continuously been recognized in several practice areas by elite global directories, including The Legal 500, Chambers and Partners and Benchmark Litigation. Gecić Law was named Law Firm of the Year: South Eastern Europe 2021 and Law Firm of the Year: Eastern Europe and the Balkans 2020 at The Lawyer European Awards and was repeatedly nominated in other practice areas.

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