International Organizations and the EU General Data Protection Regulation

Exploring the Interaction between EU Law and International Law

In: International Organizations Law Review
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  • 1 Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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The importance of personal data processing for international organizations (‘IOs’) demonstrates the need for them to implement data protection in their work. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) will be influential around the world, and will impact IOs as well. Its application to them should be determined under relevant principles of EU law and public international law, and it should be interpreted consistently with the international obligations of the EU and its Member States. However, IOs should implement data protection measures regardless of whether the GDPR applies to them in a legal sense. There is a need for EU law and international law to take each other better into account, so that IOs can enjoy their privileges and immunities also with regard to EU law and avoid conflicts with international law, while still providing a high level of data protection in their operations.