On November 27, 2014, the European Parliament announced that it will appoint Giovanni Buttarelli as the new European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”), and Wojciech Wiewiórowski as the Assistant Supervisor. The announcement has been expected since the Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted on October 20, 2014 for Buttarelli and Wiewiórowski to be the Parliament’s leading candidates for the two positions. The final step of the process is for the Parliament and the Council of the European Union to jointly sign a nomination decision, after which Buttarelli and Wiewiórowski will formally take up their new roles.

Both are well-known figures in the European data protection circles. Buttarelli is the current Assistant Supervisor, a position he has held since 2009. He will replace Peter Hustinx, who has been the EDPS since 2004. Prior to joining the EDPS, Buttarelli spent 12 years with the Italian Data Protection Authority. Wiewiórowski has been the Inspector General of the Polish Data Protection Authority since June 2010. Earlier this year he was appointed to the role of Vice-Chair of the EU’s Article 29 Working Party, a committee of data protection authorities from each of the 28 EU Member States.

The EDPS is an independent regulatory body whose main goal is to ensure that the EU institutions and bodies abide by the principles of EU data protection law when they process personal data and develop new policies. The EDPS’s authority stems from Regulation 45/2001, which governs the processing of personal data by EU institutions. The EDPS also advises the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council of the European Union on proposals for new privacy legislation.