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SMEs welcome Commission GDPR Report

26 June 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 26 June 2020

SMEunited welcomes the evaluation report on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), published by the European Commission. The report takes into account the feedback of the Multi-stakeholder Expert Group on the Implementation of the GDPR in which SMEunited actively participated.


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The report highlights that the GDPR has been mainly successfully: it met the objectives of strengthening the protection of the individual's right to personal data protection and guaranteeing the free flow of personal data within the EU. However, it also indicates a few areas for future improvement.

SMEunited highlighted from the start that the regulation is extremely complex and very hard to understand, even for experts. The report recognises explicitly that the application of the GDPR is challenging especially for small and medium sized enterprises.

"Many SMEs had to purchase services from external consultants to understand the rules and set up systems to comply with the GDPR. The published guidelines are mainly a help to understand the rules, but offer no guidance on how to apply the theory in real life", stated the Secretary General of SMEunited.

Therefore, SMEunited and its members appreciate that several national data protection authorities have provided practical tools to facilitate the implementation of the GDPR by SMEs with low risk processing activities. The Commission in her evaluation report insists that these efforts should be intensified and widespread.

The report also mentions best practices the Commission would like to see adopted in all Member States. Some Data Protection Authorities have indeed developed a number of activities to help SMEs comply with the GDPR, for instance through the provision of templates for processing contracts and records for processing activities, seminars and hotlines for consultation. SMEunited encourages to consider further activities to facilitate the application of the GDPR for SMEs.

Finally, SMEunited welcomes the announcement of possible targeted amendments to certain provisions of the GDPR, especially on the obligation to keep a record of processing activities.

SMEunited, formally known as UEAPME, is the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited is a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner and acts on behalf of crafts and SMEs in the European Social Dialogue and in discussions with the EU institutions.

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