European data protection authorities point finger at budget shortfall

Andrea Jelinek, President of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), and Wojciech Wiewowski, European Data Protection Officer (EDPS), want their voices to be heard about the lack of budget allocated to their institutions. They have just sent a letter advised by EURACTIV to the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and Edita Grda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the European Union. The latter participate in the discussion of the budget for 2023.

More tasks and less budget

“We are deeply concerned that this budget, unless significantly increased, will be too small to allow the EDPD and EDPS to properly carry out their tasks,” they write. Recall that two bodies are working on the protection of personal data. While the EDPB promotes consistent application of the rules and encourages cooperation between different national authorities, the EDPS ensures that European institutions respect the right of citizens to have their privacy protected when processing their data.

Regarding the budget for 2023, EDPS made two proposals, both of which were rejected by the European Commission. One of them provided for 8 additional members for the secretariat and 8 for the body itself. These are the minimum resources they need to continue working, as the two institutions believed at the time.

EU institutions have long suffered from budget constraints. In the previous financial period (2014-2020), they had to cut their spending by 5%. In the current (2021-2027) they were asked to keep their expenses. Problem: At the same time, they are always assigned more tasks. This is especially true for EDPB and EDPS. The number of European agencies will increase from 4 to 12 in 2022, and the methods of processing personal data will become more and more sophisticated.

Pressure to regulate big tech companies

That’s not all. These two authorities are expected to maintain some pressure on large technology companies, in particular on the American one. “Society as a whole has high hopes for the GDPR. However, the EDPS Secretariat is currently understaffed and may no longer be able to fulfill its legal obligations to serve the EDPS and the GDPR,” conclude Andrea Jelinek and Wojciech Wiewowski.

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