The European Commission is facing the prospect of having no-one in charge of data protection for the EU from next week, after failing to find a suitable candidate for the outgoing boss, Peter Hustinx.
The European Data Protection Supervisor’s five-year tenure runs out on January 16, and Hustinx has already expressed his alarm about leaving the position vacant.
In a letter to the Commission, Hustinx wrote: “This uncertainty and the possibly long delays that may be involved, as well as their different consequences, are likely to harm the effectiveness and the authority of the EDPS over the coming months.”
The move comes at a crucial time for the EU, with data protection reforms currently making their way – albeit slowly – through the Parliament and Council.
Although the call for candidates went out last year, the Commission said that “the selection panel concluded that none of the candidates had the qualities that are needed for the job.”
No decision has yet been made on how to move forward, although it has been reported that the Commission hopes Hustinx will agree to stay on in the post until a suitable candidate is found.
The Commission is seeking someone with proven experience in data protection issues, either as a member of a data protection supervisory authority or in a large private or public organisation; practical experience in the implementation of data protection rules and the ability to act with independence.
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