EU Twinning Project on Personal Data Protection in the Republic of Moldova: Mid-Term Review

Jekaterina Macuka, Resident Twinning Advisor; Laila Medina, Member State Junior Project Leader; Lukas Gundermann, Member State Project Leader (from left to right)
Jekaterina Macuka, Resident Twinning Advisor; Laila Medina, Member State Junior Project Leader; Lukas Gundermann, Member State Project Leader (from left to right)


On the occasion of the fourth Steering Committee meeting of the EU Twinning Project on Personal Data Protection in Moldova, representatives of Moldova’s National Centre for Personal Data Protection (NCPDP), of the European Union and of the two partner Member States, Germany and Latvia, met in Chișinău on 15 October to evaluate the progress made so far towards implementing the project.

Spotlight on draft legislation and measures to raise public awareness

The twinning project started in October 2017 and is now reaching the second phase of its implementation. With a duration of 2 years and a total budget of nearly one million euros, the twinning between the Republic of Moldova and Member States - represented by the IRZ (German Foundation of International Legal Cooperation), and the Ministry of Justice of Latvia respectively - aims at harmonising Moldova’s national legislation in the field of personal data protection with the European Union’s legal framework and standards (mainly the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and EU Directive 2016/680). 

Mr. Eduard Raducan, Director of the NCPDP and project leader for the beneficiary country, reiterated his dedication to the project and his desire to see the new draft law on personal data protection adopted at the upcoming parliamentary session in November. The law has been drafted in a very short period of time, a result achieved only thanks to the hard work of the staff of the Centre and its close collaboration with the Latvian Resident Twinning Advisor, Jekaterina Macuka, as well as numerous Short Term Experts who worked in the project. Adopting the new law before the parliamentary elections due to be held in Moldova in February 2019 will not only provide a reliable legal basis for the future work of the Centre but will also guarantee the necessary approximation of Moldovan legislation to the EU acquis. This will be an important prerequisite for the exchange of personal data between Moldova and the Member States. 

Strengthening the Centre’s capabilities is a further goal of the project.

Related activities of the project will continue in the second half. These include acquainting the Centre’s staff with good practices in the area of investigations and complaint procedures. The structure of the NCPDP will also be addressed. A number of activities of any data protection authority require the employment of IT experts. Mr Raducan sees in the structural revision of the Centre and in hiring a sufficient number of IT staff a key for its future efficiency. 

A further major component of the project will be concerned with raising awareness of the topic of personal data protection and namely the rights of the persons concerned (“data subjects”) and the obligations of the controllers who are in charge of processing operations. Communication activities including reaching out to the public in the regions as well as trainings/workshops for the private sector, for the media, and for the Centre’s staff, will help developing a positive image of the Centre’s role and a better perception of personal data protection in general. Trust and acceptance amongst the various actors in the Moldavan society are crucial for the future success of the NCPDP and will also ensure the project’s sustainability. 

The project is entering a very intense second phase with about 60 per cent of the total number of measures to be undertaken within the next 10 months. IRZ representatives and the MS Project Leader, Lukas Gundermann, underlined the need for an intensified deployment of national experts in the upcoming months.

Funded by the European Union

Delegation from the Republic of Moldova on a visit to Berlin and Leipzig following the approval of the Administrative Code

Secretary of State Christiane Wirtz (centre) welcomes the delegation to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV)
Secretary of State Christiane Wirtz (centre) welcomes the delegation to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV)

From 16 to 20 September, a high-ranking delegation from the Republic of Moldova is paying a working visit to Berlin and Leipzig by invitation of the IRZ. The delegation includes the Chairwoman of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Raisa Apolschii, and the President of the Supreme Court, Ion Druță. The context of the working visit is the approval of the Moldovan Administrative Code, which took place this summer. This Code, which includes acts on administrative operations and administrative procedures, provides for the introduction of specialist Administrative Chambers within ordinary courts, thereby introducing an independent administrative procedure to the Republic of Moldova.

At the start of the visit, the delegation was welcomed to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection by Secretary of State, Christiane Wirtz. Raisa Apolschii took the opportunity to stress the valuable German contribution over the past ten years to the development of the Administrative Code and how much they had benefited from the practical experience of German administrative court judges during the process. She then said how important it is for this essential law to be implemented well.

The working visit should help to achieve this. The visit will include appointments at the Administrative Court and at the Social Court in Berlin and a meeting with the Association of German administrative court judges. In Leipzig, the guests will attend the German Federal Administrative Court, where they will be welcomed by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert. Finally, a visit to the Leipzig City Council is also on the programme – for the purpose of illustrating administrative procedures. Here, the delegation will be greeted by the mayor of the city of Leipzig, Burkhard Jung.

Training seminar on media for public prosecutors in Moldova

Participants during the training seminar
Participants during the training seminar

From 23 to 27 July 2018 a training seminar for Moldovan public prosecutors on the topic of communication with the press and media took place in cooperation with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and with the support of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Moldova. The seminar was held with the same programme in Bălți, Chisinau und Cahul.

Ulrich Bremer from Germany, the Senior Public Prosecutor and Press Officer of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Cologne, contributed to the event on behalf of the IRZ.

The press officer function has existed for only two years at the Moldovan public prosecutor's offices as a consequence of the reform projects in the field of the code of criminal procedure. So far there has been no regular training for press officers with a concept and a curriculum, not least because there has been a lack of experienced Moldovan experts.

Demand in this field is great and the organisation of such a training seminar was explicitly requested by the Public Prosecutor General’s Office in March 2018 on the occasion of the presentation of a new strategy paper for the development of the prosecutorial services.

75 leading public prosecutors from various regions of Moldova participated in the training seminar. In view of the importance of this topic the Moldovan participants were very interested and became actively involved. The German experts described their personal experience with this issue, which further increased the participants' interest. The methods and techniques for a successful communication with the press were demonstrated in numerous examples from practice. This showed that through successful communication, transparency and the public's trust in the work of the public prosecutors can be increased.

The IRZ will continue to support the reform projects in the field of the Moldovan code of criminal procedure, also with regard to the training of legal practitioners.