IP case law Court of Justice

Referral C-306/21 (Koalitsia Demokratichna Bulgaria - Obedinenie, 12 May 2021)



Is Article 2(2)(a) of the General Data Protection Regulation to be interpreted as precluding the application of that regulation to an ostensibly purely internal situation, such as the holding of elections to the National Assembly, where the subject matter of the protection is the personal data of individuals – citizens of the European Union – and the data processing operations are not restricted to the collection of data in the context of the activity in question?

If the first question is answered in the affirmative, does the conclusion of the holding of elections to the National Assembly, which do not appear to fall within the scope of EU law, release controllers, processors and persons who store personal data from their obligations under the regulation, as the sole means of protecting personal data of EU citizens at EU level? Does the applicability of the regulation depend solely on the activity for which the personal data were produced or collected, thereby also leading to the conclusion that its subsequent applicability is precluded?

If the first question is answered in the negative, do Article 6[(1)](e) of the General Data Protection Regulation and the principle of proportionality enshrined in recitals 4 and 129 thereof preclude national rules implementing the regulation, such as those at issue, which preclude and restrict from the outset the possibility of carrying out any video recording during the determination of the election results at polling stations, do not allow for differentiation and regulation of individual elements of the recording process and preclude the possibility of achieving the objectives of the regulation – the protection of personal data of individuals – by other means?

Alternatively, and in the context of the scope of application of EU law, do Article 6[(1)](e) of the General Data Protection Regulation and the principle of proportionality enshrined in recitals 4 and 129 thereof preclude – in the holding of municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament – national rules implementing that regulation, such as those at issue, which preclude and restrict from the outset the possibility of carrying out any video recording during the determination of the election results at polling stations, do not differentiate and regulate individual elements of the recording process or even allow for such differentiation and regulation, and preclude the possibility of achieving the objectives of the regulation – the protection of personal data of individuals – by other means?

Does Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation preclude the categorisation of the activities of ascertaining lawful conduct and determining the results of elections as a task carried out in the public interest which justifies a certain degree of interference, subject to the requirement of proportionality, with regard to the personal data of persons present at polling stations when they perform an official, public task which is regulated by law?

If the previous question is answered in the affirmative, does the protection of personal data preclude the introduction of a national statutory prohibition on the collection and processing of personal data, which limits the possibility of carrying out ancillary activities consisting in the video recording of materials, objects or items which do not contain personal data, where the recording process potentially gives rise to the possibility of personal data also being collected during the video recording of persons present at polling stations who are carrying out an activity in the public interest at the relevant time?


Case details on the CJEU website (external link)


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