Insights European Commission launches call for evidence on its report on the evaluation and review of the Law Enforcement Directive (2016/680/EU)

The Directive applies to the domestic and cross-border processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of preventing, investigating, detecting or prosecuting criminal offences and executing criminal penalties, including safeguarding against and preventing threats to public security.

The Commission explains that the Directive is the first instrument to take a comprehensive approach to data protection in the field of law enforcement, including by regulating “domestic” processing. It was therefore a significant development compared with the earlier Framework Decision (which covered only transmission between Member States) that it repealed and replaced in May 2016 when it came into force.

The Commission’s evaluation report, which is due to be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council by 6 May 2022, will assess the application and functioning of the Directive in Member States. The report will examine whether legislative proposals are necessary to address any issue identified.

The Commission will collect feedback from key stakeholders via targeted consultation activities. A questionnaire has been sent to civil society organisations (through the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights), as well as to the data protection supervisory authorities and the European Data Protection Board.  The Commission will get the views of Member States through the adoption of Council findings and positions, prepared in the Council Working Party on Data Protection. No open public consultation is planned. The feedback period closes on 21 February 2022.

It will be recalled that in December 2021 the EDPB adopted its response to the evaluation, saying that the past four years have been characterised primarily by national processes in transposing the Directive, meaning that there is limited experience and empirical data on some parts of the Directive. Therefore, the EDPB said that it was too early to draw conclusions on the Directive’s effectiveness or to consider its revision.

The Commission will adopt a Communication on its evaluation during the second quarter 2022. For further information, click here.