On October 21, 2014, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE Committee”) voted the Italian Giovanni Buttarelli as top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).  Mr. Buttarelli spent the last five years as Assistant Supervisor to the current  EDPS, Mr. Peter Hustinx. 

Referred to as the “privacy watchdog”, the EDPS’ main objective is ensuring that the European institutions, bodies, agencies and offices respect the privacy of citizen data.  With the European Union’s rules on personal data protection currently under review, this institution is expected to play an increasingly prominent role in European policy.

The European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers appoint the EDPS and the Assistant Supervisor “by common accord” for a five-year term, on the basis of a candidate list proposed by the European Commission.  Following interviews of five candidates on October 20th, Mr. Buttarelli received 34 votes in the LIBE Committee, making him the top candidate for the job, and leaving behind other high-level EU privacy experts (the Committee’s shortlist of preferences can be accessed here).  The Pole Wojciech Wiewiorowski, head of the Polish Data Protection Authority, was nominated for the position of  Assistant Supervisor.  The Committee’s nominations will be voted on by the Parliament’s plenary session, and subsequently by the EU Council.