Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission took legal action against Belgium on Wednesday over the country’s failure to ensure the complete independence of the Belgian Data Protection Authority (APD-GBA), an omission that is in violation of the bloc’s privacy regulations.
The EC pointed out that some APD-GBA members are involved in the Belgian government’s project on coronavirus infection tracing, while some are members of the Information Security Committee, Reuters reported.
Some APD-GBA members “cannot be regarded as free from external influence because they report to a management committee depending on the Belgian government”, the Commission asserted.
The EC has given Belgium two months to present new measures aimed at securing APD-GBA’s independence, having started the legal process that could result in the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) imposing penalties against the member state.
Process against Germany
Also on Wednesday, the EC launched a similar process against Germany, citing an apparent violation of EU regulations whereby a German court had challenged bond purchases by the country’s central bank, which had been previously approved by the ECJ.
According to its statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission informed the German government that it was investigating whether the ruling was in violation of EU regulations.
The move is the first stage in a legal process that could result in the ECJ sanctioning Germany.
Lawsuit against Poland
In addition to the moves against Belgium and Germany, the EC has announced plans to sue Poland at the ECJ over the EU member state’s failure to fully implement the bloc’s public procurement regulations.
It noted that Polish rules exempt contracts for providing bank resolution services as well as contracts for distribution and production of some public documents from the application of EU’s public procurement laws.
“While the EU public procurement directives allow for certain exemptions for contracts to be awarded without a competitive call for tenders, the Commission considers that these do not apply to the broad categories of contracts exempted by the Polish law”, the EC warned.