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Belgium: Commission opens infringement procedure regarding independence of Belgian DPA

The European Commission announced, on 9 June 2021, that it had opened infringement proceedings against Belgium on the independence of its Data Protection Authority ('Belgian DPA'). In particular, the Commission highlighted that the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, had sent a letter in March 2021 which outlined that some members of the Belgian DPA cannot be regarded as free from external influence because they either report to a management committee depending on the Belgian Government, take part in governmental projects on COVID-19 contact tracing, or they are members of the Information Security Committee. Furthermore, the Commission noted that the information provided in response to the letter from the Belgian authorities in April 2021 did not allay those concerns.

As a result, the Commission outlined that Belgium has two months to design measures to ensure a fully independent data protection authority, or else the Commission may take the next steps in the infringement procedure and send Belgium a reasoned opinion.

You can read the press release here.