EUROPEAN COMMISSION

    

 

PROTECTION OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA

This privacy statement provides information about
the processing and the protection of your personal data.

 

Processing operation: System for selection and management of the Election Observers and Experts – Election Observation Roster

Data Controller: Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, Unit FPI.3

Record reference: DPR-EC-00906

 

Table of Contents

1.       Introduction

2.       Why and how do we process your personal data?

3.       On what legal ground(s) do we process your personal data?

4.       Which personal data do we collect and further process?

5.       How long do we keep your personal data?

6.       How do we protect and safeguard your personal data?

7.       Who has access to your personal data and to whom is it disclosed?

8.       What are your rights and how can you exercise them?

9.       Contact information

10.       Where to find more detailed information?


1.       Introduction

The European Commission (hereafter ‘the Commission’) is committed to protect your personal data and to respect your privacy. The Commission collects and further processes personal data pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data (repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001).

This privacy statement explains the reason for the processing of your personal data, the way we collect, handle and ensure protection of all personal data provided, how that information is used and what rights you have in relation to your personal data. It also specifies the contact details of the responsible Data Controller with whom you may exercise your rights, the Data Protection Officer and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The information in relation to the processing operation “System for selection and management of the Election Observers and Experts – Election Observation Roster” undertaken by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), Unit FPI.3, is presented below.

Please note that processing undertaken for the implementation of Election Observation Missions, i.e. implementation of logistics, security, financial, organisational and administrative aspects as well as taking and publishing pictures, videos and other visibility materials of the mission displaying images of EOMs' members is covered by another privacy statement (DPR-EC-04674.1).

2.       Why and how do we process your personal data?

Purpose of the processing operation: FPI.3 collects and uses your personal information recorded in the Election Observation Roster database to facilitate:

-          the selection procedure for Election Observers and Experts for the EU Election Observation Missions (EOM) and their appointment to specific electoral missions;

 

-          selection of participants to trainings; and

-          the performance evaluations of Election Observers, Experts and participants to trainings.

Regarding the selection procedure:

Experts for the Core Teams of Election Observation Missions will apply directly through the Roster. The applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee composed by Commission Service of Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and European External Action Service (EEAS) staff members.

The Selection Process for Long and Short Term Observers has two steps: first National Focal Points in charge of election observation in each Member State (MS) (and in cooperating third countries, namely Switzerland, Norway and Canada) are responsible for the pre-selection. They are required to propose a fixed number of Observers matching specific criteria required for a given election observation mission. Then, the National Focal Points introduce the names of their candidates in an electoral mission folder created in the Roster with a possibility to rank the candidates. Finally, a Selection Committee composed by FPI and EEAS staff members, proceeds to the final selection of the Observers from the candidates. The Selection Committee is not involved in the pre-selection procedure and is solely responsible for the final selection. The current privacy statement concerns only the final selection.

The database is also used for the selection of candidates for trainings on election observation, performed by the entity in charge of the Election Observation and Democratic Support project (currently EODS II), acting as data processor. At the end of the training, participants are evaluated according to criteria set in the call for trainings.

Regarding the evaluation of the performance of election observers and experts:

The Roster is used for introducing, accessing and storing performance evaluations.

In particular, FPI has put in place a system of evaluations of the participants to electoral missions, notably of Long- and Short-term Observers and Core Team experts in view of ameliorating the selection procedure.

Evaluations are carried out following the Evaluation Guidelines, created by FPI. Observers will be recommended or not recommended for future EOMs, based on these evaluations. If an Observer receives a non-recommended evaluation, she/he will be excluded from participating in an EOM for a period of five years.

Anonymised data from the Roster will be used for statistical purposes, to ensure balance in the missions regarding gender, nationality, etc.

Your personal data will not be used for an automated decision-making including profiling.

 

3.       On what legal ground(s) do we process your personal data

We process your personal data, because:

-          processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Union institution or body [Article 5(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725]

Under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (REGULATION (EU) No 235/2014), election observation contributes to increasing transparency and trust in the electoral process as part of the wider promotion of, and support to, democratic processes. The observation of elections continues to be an important component of the EU's policy of promoting human rights and democratisation throughout the world. FPI is in charge of managing European Election Observation Missions, based on Council Decision 8728/99 – PESC 165 – COHOM 4 EU Guidelines on common criteria for the selection of electoral observers and Council Decision 9262/98 - PESC 157 - COHOM 6. Guidelines - EU Policy on electoral observation.

In line with the legal acts, selection and evaluation of experts participating in EOMs should be made according to a set of common criteria in order to ensure a high professional standard of EU observers.

4.       Which personal data do we collect and further process?

In order to carry out this processing operation, FPI.3 Unit collects the following categories of personal data:


-          Identification data: name, address, e-mail address, phone numbers, date and place of birth, ID Card / Passport N° of the selected electoral mission members and experts;

-          HR data: CV details, information on expertise, technical skills and languages, name and contact details of referees;

-          Social data: name and contact details of next of kin.

We collect this data because you provided it to us. The minimum information which you need to provide in order to register your application is included in the web interface of the Roster. The provision of such information is mandatory for processing your application.

Failure to provide that information may result in rejection of your application.

 

FPI.3 Unit also collects the following data:

 

-          Information on the performance of the participants during the missions and trainings (evaluations). If you are a participant of an EU Election Observation Mission or a related training, we have obtained information on your performance from the Mission member in charge of the evaluation or the Service Provider in charge of trainings.

-          Communication with referees and communication with next of kin. We obtain this information in rare cases when we might contact your referees and/or next of kin.

5.       How long do we keep your personal data?

FPI.3 Unit only keeps your personal data for the time necessary to fulfil the purpose of collection or further processing.

The personal data in connection with your personal CV will be kept for: a) five years from the last modification you introduced unless you have not been applying for a mission or training;

 b) seven years after the closure of the service contract implementing the election observation mission if you have applied for an electoral mission or training based on Article 75 of the Financial Regulation. Retaining the evaluations for a period of 7 years is also necessary, since the past performance of the experts is taken into consideration in the course of future selection procedures.

You have the right to erase your CV from the Roster any time. Please note that if you delete your CV but have applied for an election mission or training, your CV will be deleted from database but kept for seven years linked to the mission or training as described above.

6.       How do we protect and safeguard your personal data?

All personal data in electronic format (e-mails, documents, databases, uploaded batches of data, etc.) are stored on the servers of the European Commission. All processing operations are carried out pursuant to the Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 on the security of communication and information systems in the European Commission.

The Commission’s contractors are bound by a specific contractual clause for any processing operations of your data on behalf of the Commission, and by the confidentiality obligations deriving from the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’ Regulation (EU) 2016/679).

In order to protect your personal data, the Commission has put in place a number of technical and organisational measures in place. Technical measures include appropriate actions to address online security, risk of data loss, alteration of data or unauthorised access, taking into consideration the risk presented by the processing and the nature of the personal data being processed. Organisational measures include restricting access to the personal data solely to authorised persons with a legitimate need to know for the purposes of this processing operation. Additionally, Core Team members and Observers sign a Letter of Assignment that includes confidentiality clauses to guarantee that the information received during EU EOM (including the information contained in the Roster) will not be revealed to unauthorised third parties.

7.       Who has access to your personal data and to whom is it disclosed?

Access to your personal data is provided to the Commission staff responsible for carrying out this processing operation and to authorised staff according to the “need to know” principle. Such staff abide by statutory, and when required, additional confidentiality agreements.

Recipients of your personal data are the following:

-          EEAS staff members of the Election Observation team do not have direct access to the Roster, but will have access to your data extracted from the Roster for carrying out their duties as part of the Selection Committee.

-          The EODS II project (or its successor), an external contractor of FPI, acts as a data processor for organising and carrying out election observation trainings. Staff members of the EODS II project have direct access to the Roster as evaluators. Such access allows them to introduce training evaluations to the participants’ CVs.

-          External Service Providers, contracted by FPI for the management of Election Observation Missions, do not have direct access to the Roster, but will receive a list with names and contact details of successful candidates extracted from the Roster, to enable contact and the launch of their assignment.

-          For each specific EOM, the Observer Coordinators and Deputy Observer Coordinator(s) (if any) will receive access to data stored in the Election Observation Roster to create a deployment plan and encode evaluations.

-          National Focal Points for Election Observation Missions, appointed by national authorities, have access to data of their respective nationals for the purpose of preselection of Long and Short Term Observers. These include National Focal Points from EU Member States, and cooperating third countries, namely Canada, Norway and Switzerland. They also receive a list containing the names and nationalities of successful Core team candidates following the conclusion of the selection process for a specific EOM, not limited to respective nationals.

The controller will transfer your personal data to the following recipients in a third country outside the EU/EEA or to an international organisation in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725:

-          National Focal Points for Election Observation in Switzerland, Norway and Canada.

The Focal Points in these third countries receive access to the CVs of their respective nationals in the Roster and a list containing the names and nationalities of successful Core team candidates following the conclusion of the selection process for a specific EOM, not limited to respective nationals. Providing access to such data is necessary for the functioning of the electoral mission.

The controller will transfer your data to Norway that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and hence, it applies EU data protection rules.

The controller will transfer your data to Switzerland based on the adequacy decision of the Commission for Switzerland[1].  (Article 47 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725).

Regarding Canada, transfers are justified for important reasons of public interest (article 50(1) (d) of the Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.  

Particularly, the Commission cooperates with Canada for the benefit of EU Election Observation Missions. This cooperation is a key part of the EU’s efforts to reinforce democratic institutions and practices in line with Regulation (EU) No 235/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a financing instrument for democracy and human rights worldwide. Full-scale EU EOMs are widely recognised as flagship projects of the Union's external action and remain the principal form of action under this objective. European Election Observation Missions benefit highly from the cooperation with Canada as a country with a highly developed, comprehensive methodology of Election Observation and experienced observers. Limited transfer of data is necessary for ensuring the functioning of the mission as well as a uniform selection procedure throughout the Member States, Norway, Switzerland and Canada as non-EU participants that abide by standards set out in Council Decision 8728/99 - PESC 165 - COHOM 4 EU Guidelines on common criteria for the selection of electoral observers and Council Decision 9262/98 - PESC 157 - COHOM 6. Guidelines - EU Policy on electoral observation.

Please note that pursuant to Article 3(13) of the Regulation, public authorities (e.g. Court of Auditors, EU Court of Justice) which may receive personal data in the framework of a particular inquiry in accordance with Union or Member State law shall not be regarded as recipients. The processing of those data by those public authorities shall be in compliance with the applicable data protection rules according to the purposes of the processing.

The information we collect will not be given to any third party, except to the extent and for the purpose we may be required to do so by law.

8.       What are your rights and how can you exercise them?

You have specific rights as a ‘data subject’ under Chapter III (Articles 14-25) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, in particular the right to access your personal data and to rectify them in case your personal data are inaccurate or incomplete. Where applicable, you have the right to erase your personal data, to restrict the processing of your personal data, to object to the processing, and the right to data portability.

 

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data, which is lawfully carried out pursuant to Article 5(1)(a) on grounds relating to your particular situation.

 

You can exercise your rights by contacting the Data Controller, or in case of conflict the Data Protection Officer. If necessary, you can also address the European Data Protection Supervisor. Their contact information is given under Heading 9 below.

Where you wish to exercise your rights in the context of one or several specific processing operations, please provide their description (i.e. their Record reference(s) as specified under Heading 10 below) in your request.

9.       Contact information

-      The Data Controller

If you would like to exercise your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, or if you have comments, questions or concerns, or if you would like to submit a complaint regarding the collection and use of your personal data, please feel free to contact the Data Controller, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, Unit FPI.3, FPI-DATA-PROTECTION@ec.europa.eu.

-      The Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the Commission

You may contact the Data Protection Officer (DATA-PROTECTION-OFFICER@ec.europa.eu) with regard to issues related to the processing of your personal data under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

 

-      The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

 

You have the right to have recourse (i.e. you can lodge a complaint) to the European Data Protection Supervisor (edps@edps.europa.eu) if you consider that your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 have been infringed as a result of the processing of your personal data by the Data Controller.

10.       Where to find more detailed information?

The Commission Data Protection Officer (DPO) publishes the register of all processing operations on personal data by the Commission, which have been documented and notified to him. You may access the register via the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/dpo-register.

This specific processing operation has been included in the DPO’s public register with the following Record reference: DPR-EC-00906.



[1] 2000/518/EC : Commission  of 26 July 2000 pursuant to Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the adequate protection of personal data provided in Switzerland.