Saturday

20th Oct 2018

Lawyers shortlisted for EU data chief post

  • Peter Hustinx has been the EDPS for over ten years (Photo: Pierre Metivier)

Two French corporate lawyers working for American firms and a high-ranking EU official are vying to replace Peter Hustinx as the next European data protection supervisor (EDPS).

All three are set to be grilled late Monday (20 October) evening by MEPs in the civil liberties committee as Hustinx plans to step down and retire.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The EDPS was set up in 2004 as an independent supervisory authority. Part of its task is to provide advice on policies and legislation that affect privacy.

The importance of the role has expanded in recent years as EU legislators grapple with data protection reforms and privacy issues stemming from US-led mass surveillance regime of EU citizens.

Deputies will select and vote on the their candidate tomorrow before entering talks with the Council – representing member states. A final confirmation is expected sometime near the end of this month or possibly even in November.

Noelle Lenoir (66) is a partner of the American law firm Kramer Levin & Franel LLP, where she has been dealing with European law, competition law and public business law since 2011. She specialises in business confidentiality and personal data protection.

In her letter of motivation, Lenoir writes that European policy on the protection of personal data “is nothing unless the Union is open to international dialogue, particularly with countries with which data is most frequently exchanged”.

Yann Padova, the other French lawyer, is the former secretary general at France’ data protection authority CNIL.

At 47, he is also the youngest of the three.

He kicked off his career in corporate law in October 2012 at the Paris office of Baker & McKenzie. In his cover letter, Padova says a balance needs to be struck between allowing companies to exploit data for commercial ends but at the same time respecting people’s right to privacy.

The two French are up against Giovanni Buttarelli, a 57-year old Italian who has been EDPS assistant supervisor since 2009. Buttarelli’s 24-page CV lays out 20-odd years of experience in the area.

The selection process has taken a long time.

Over ten years in the job, Hustinx was supposed to have already stepped down earlier. The Dutchman was appointed for a second five-year term in 17 January 2009.

An initial vacancy notice was posted in September 2013 but nobody suitable was found. A second vacancy notice was issued over summer.

Russian activist warns on 'fake news' as EU backs action

In 2015, internet activist Lyudmila Savchuk went under cover to expose a troll factory in St Petersburg. As the EU summit endorses anti-disinformation action, she told EUobserver the Russian government is bankrolling many more.

EU passport sales create 'proud Maltese citizens'

Malta says its 'Golden Visas' scheme attracts families that want to become "proud Maltese citizens". Meanwhile the sales to Russian nationals, and others, have generated over €700m in revenue.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia MPs back name deal in initial vote
  2. EU to open trade talks with US on beef
  3. EU court orders Poland to suspend firing judges
  4. Japan to focus on circular economy at G20
  5. Italian budget 'significant deviation' from rules, says EU
  6. Podemos initiates debate on legalising marijuana in Spain
  7. Merkel: Focus on banking union at December EU summit
  8. Scotland confirms mad cow disease case

Opinion

Interpol, China and the EU

China joins a long list of countries - including Russia - accused of abusing Interpol's 'Red Notice' system to harras activists and dissidents.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. What Italy's budget row is actually about
  2. EU preparing 'concentration camps' for migrants in Africa
  3. Poland to respect EU injunction on judicial purge
  4. EU votes on Facebook and plastic This WEEK
  5. Top EU banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud
  6. Polish left a glimmer of hope in fight against illiberal democracy
  7. Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times
  8. Asylum reforms derailed, as EU looks to north Africa

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us