On Thursday, January 28, Data Protection Day is once again being celebrated. The first edition was held in 2007, after the Council of Europe had decided a few months earlier to set the date.
Why this day? On January 28, 1981, the Council of Europe signed Convention 108 in Strasbourg for the protection of personal data in its automated processing. It was the first legally binding international instrument for data protection, and for more than 30 years an important legal reference, in Europe and beyond. Today, Data Protection Day is celebrated all over the globe, and outside our continent is known as Privacy Day.
On July 1, Germany took over the current presidency of the Council of the European Union. Every six months, one of the 27 member states holds this rotating responsibility. And every six months, this presidency designs a roadmap with priorities and objectives it considers crucial to develop during the term.
The challenges of the digital transition are complex and encompass all types of areas: from the defence of democratic values to purely legal matters, without forgetting free competition, defence against cyber-terrorism or data protection. Consequently, several European institutions are responsible, to a greater or lesser extent, for designing a proactive European response, without falling behind the United States and China and maintaining the standards that have made the European Union a tool for progress for more than 440 million citizens.