Insights European Commission publishes Communication setting out its first report on the evaluation and review of the Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive (2016/6801/EU) (LED)

The report examines the application and functioning of the LED’s rules on the transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations as required by the LED. It also situates the LED within the framework of EU law on the protection and processing of personal data for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences and the execution of criminal penalties, including safeguarding against and prevention of threats to public security.

The report provides an overview of the Member States’ transposition of the LED into their national laws, presents the first lessons drawn from the LED’s application and functioning, and outlines the way forward.

The Commission finds that the LED has significantly contributed to a more harmonised and higher level of protection of individuals’ rights and a more coherent legal framework for competent authorities.

The Commission says that it will continue to check that Member States have correctly transposed the LED and to monitor the application of its provisions. It finds that the LED has generally been transposed in a satisfactory manner, although various issues have been identified. The Commission has already launched infringement procedures regarding both the non-transposition and the non-conformity of national laws with the LED. It will continue to work to ensure full and correct transposition.

Further, the Commission finds that the LED has resulted in a higher level of awareness and attention on data protection by national competent authorities, also as regards the security of processing.

The Commission says that active supervision by data protection supervisory authorities is vital to ensure that the objectives of the LED are met. The authorities therefore need to be given all the types of powers required by the LED, together with adequate resources, it says.

At this stage, the Commission says that focus should be on realising the full potential of the LED. Therefore, it believes that it is too early to consider revising the LED. The next evaluation is due by 2026. In the meantime, the Commission will continue to work on ensuring consistency with other EU legislation relevant to the processing of personal data for criminal law enforcement purposes. To read the Commission’s report, click here.