Creation of new EU umbrella organisation for data protection officers

Professional associations join forces in Brussels

The Berufsverband der Datenschutzbeauftragten Deutschlands [Association of Data Protection Officers of Germany] (BvD) e.V. is the initiator of a European umbrella association of data protection officers that was founded in Berlin on 7 June 2019. In addition to the BvD, the founding members of the European Federation of Data Protection Officers (EFDPO) are national associations for data protection officers from Austria, France, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece and Liechtenstein. The main objective of the foundation is to create a network of data protection officers of the EU member states, to develop common standards and to represent the interests of data protection officers in Brussels. The aim is to strengthen data protection as a competitive and locational advantage for Europe. The new association is based in Brussels.

“The EFDPO brings together the voices of the national associations of data protection officers to create a strong platform for representation at EU level”, said Thomas Spaeing, BvD Chairman of the Board. Among other things, the EU federation wants to support the establishment of an EU certification standard for data protection officers.

“Company data protection officers are important players in complying with data protection regulations,” said Spaeing. “As data protection experts, they ensure the entrepreneurial capacity to act under the GDPR and, at the same time, ensure that consumer and civil rights are observed with regard to data protection. This also relieves the burden on national data protection supervisory authorities. “Like the BvD e.V.already, the new umbrella association is not limited to data protection officers, but also takes into account the interests of other professions emerging in the field of data protection, such as the data protection auditor or the data protection coordinator.

According to Spaeing, despite criticism and the need for improvements, the GDPR has become an important standard for companies since its launch on 25 May 2018. “Data protection strengthens trust and therefore also the businesses that work in compliance. “Around the globe, countries are now aligning themselves with the GDPR when developing their own data protection laws. “We want to seize this opportunity and strengthen data protection as a trademark of the European economy in Brussels,” said Spaeing.

In Germany, companies where more than ten persons are entrusted with processing personal data on a sustained basis are obliged to appoint a data protection officer. “Even when not obliged to designate an officer, companies still have to fully comply with the requirements of the GDPR,” explains Spaeing. “But, particularly in small and medium-sized companies, there is generally a lack of in-house know-how.”

At the same time, EU countries such as Portugal and the Czech Republic are gaining initial experience with company data protection officers. “The companies there recognise that specialist knowledge is necessary for legally compliant implementation of the requirements of the GDPR. The officers there help to establish a practicable data protection regime in the companies,” said Spaeing.

The founding members of the EFDPO are:

  • Germany: Berufsverband der Datenschutzbeauftragten Deutschlands [Association of Data Protection Officers of Germany](BvD) e. V.
  • APDPO PORTUGALAssociação dos Profissionais de Proteção e de Segurança de Dados [Association of Data Protection and Security Professionals](Portugal)
  • Spolek pro ochranu osobních údajů[Association of Data Protection Officers](Czech Republic)
  • Spolok na ochranu osobnýchúdajov[Association of Data Protection Officers](Slovakia)
  • Verein österreichischer betrieblicher und behördlicher Datenschutzbeauftragter [Austrian Association of Operational and Governmental Data Protection Officers](Austria)
  • UDPO, Union des DPO [Association of Data Protection Officers](France)
  • li Datenschutzverein in Liechtenstein [Data Protection Association in Liechtenstein](Liechtenstein)
  • HADPP – Helenic Association of dpp (Greece)

Your contact person at BvD:

BvD Press Office, Tel: 030 26 36 77 60, Budapester Straße 31, 10787 Berlin, Germany

Email:, Internet:

Chairman of the Board Thomas Spaeing

The BvD: representing the interests of data protection officers

The Berufsverband der Datenschutzbeauftragten Deutschlands [Association of Data Protection Officers of Germany](BvD) e.V. supports the professional interests of data protection officers in public authorities and companies, and is actively committed to the further development and acceptance of the profession of “data protection officer” – as the only professional association for data protection officers in Germany.


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