EU to sue Greece, Spain over police data directive

News by SC Staff

The European Union is taking Greece and Spain to court for failing to adopt the common directive on how law enforcement should handle personal data

The European Union (EU) is taking Greece and Spain to court as both have failed to adopt the common EU rules on how law enforcement handles personal data. 

The EU wants to impose fines on both countries for not meeting the deadline to transpose the EU directive, drafted for police services that collect and process personal data when conducting criminal investigations, into national law. In April 2016, the Council and the European Parliament agreed the directive had to be transposed into national law by 6 May 2018.

"The protection of personal data is a fundamental right enshrined in the charter of fundamental rights of the EU. The aim of the directive is to ensure a high level of protection of personal data while facilitating exchanges of personal data between national law enforcement authorities," said the announcement from the European Commission (EC), the EU’s executive arm.

"The lack of transposition by Spain and Greece creates a different level of protection of peoples' rights and freedoms and hampers data exchanges between Greece and Spain on one side and other Member States who transposed the Directive on the other side," it added.

EU members had until 6 May, 2018 to adopt the directive. The EC sent "reasoned opinions" to seven member countries including Greece and Spain in January 2019 for failing to implement the directive. 

"To date, Greece and Spain have not notified the Commission on the adoption of the national measures necessary in order to transpose the directive," the EC announcement said. The EU wants the court to impose a cumulative fine on both.

For Greece, the Commission wants a fine of €5,287.50 (£4,800) per day between the day after the transposition deadline and the day of "either compliance by Greece or the date of delivery of the judgment". For Spain, the amount demanded is €21,321 (£19,200) per day.

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