On 25 May 2018, the greatly anticipated General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into application and its pre-decessor Directive 95/46/EC was repealed. On that date, the Article 29 Working Party, the body bringing together the independent data protection authorities, ceased to exist and was replaced by a new body: the European Data Protection Board or EDPB.
The Board is composed of the heads of national supervisory authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). The Board also includes a representative of the European Commission who, however, does not have a right to vote.
The Board’s primary role is to safeguard the consistent application of the GDPR, but it has additional competences. It advises the European Commission on, for example, the level of data protection offered by third countries. In addition, the Board promotes cooperation between the national supervisory authorities and plays a role in conciliation procedures for disputes between national supervisory authorities. In exercising its powers, the Board issues guidelines, recommendations and statements of best practice on myriad topics.
During its first plenary meeting on 25 May the Board elected its Chair and two Vice-Chairs. The EDPB Chair will lead the Board for the coming five years and will exert an important influence on data protection in Europe and beyond. The Chair’s role will be crucial for the success and effectiveness of the GDPR.