Portfolio blogger

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Future in the past

Long, long ago, a European Commissioner, Edith Cresson was asked by a journalist, whether it is true that her dentist is employed as a consultant by the European Commission. She refused to answer.
After some months and a series of other allegations of abusing funds and lack of proper control and accountability, the whole European Commission was forced to resign.

From the news:: The Hungarian government wants to assign one thousand million forints (about 3.8 million Euros) to develop dentistry tourism to Hungary. Newspapers write that the co-ordinator of the programme will be the family dentist of Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister

Reference has also to be made to the election slogan of the FIDESZ governing party in a previous election: ""The future has begun".

Data protection

In Case C518/07, European Commission/EDPS Federal Republic of Germany, the European Court of Justice stated:
Declares that, by making the authorities responsible for monitoring the processing of personal data ... subject to State scrutiny, and by thus incorrectly transposing the requirement that those authorities perform their functions "with complete independence", the Federal Republic of Germany failed to fulfil its obligations under the second subparagraph of Article 28(1) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data;
In relation to a public body, the term ‘independence’ normally means a status which ensures that the body concerned can act completely freely, without taking any instructions or being put under any pressure.
... the supervisory authorities responsible for supervising the processing of personal data outside the public sector must enjoy an independence allowing them to perform their duties free from external influence. That independence precludes not only any influence exercised by the supervised bodies, but also any directions or any other external influence, whether direct or indirect, which could call into question the performance by those authorities of their task consisting of establishing a fair balance between the protection of the right to private life and the free movement of personal data.
... they must remain free from any external influence, including the direct or indirect influence of the State
That principle does not preclude the existence of public authorities outside the classic hierarchical administration and more or less independent of the government. The existence and conditions of operation of such authorities are, in the Member States, regulated by the law or even, in certain States, by the Constitution and those authorities are required to comply with the law subject to the review of the competent courts. 
...conferring a status independent of the general administration on the supervisory authorities responsible for the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data outside the public sector does not in itself deprive those authorities of their democratic legitimacy. 
From the news: Hungary plans to set up a government "Authority for data protection and information liberty". The latter phrase is  most probably a reflection of the term "free movement of [personal]  data".