In the context of the international engagement of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner’s Office in both the areas of its activity, it has ensured active participation in forums, networks or other initiatives over the period August-September 2021. Despite the situation imposed by the global pandemic, development in this ambit have been quite considerable, with the Commissioner’s Office ensuring its participation in 3 steering bodies out of 10 international cooperation forums/organisations of which it is a member, in addition to the membership in 11 working parties and 3 sub-committees, aside from a number of other short and medium-term initiatives.

  1. In the capacity of member of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC), the Commissioner’s Office followed on August 25th the 4th webinar of the ICIC, part of the open session of the 12th edition of the conference held earlier this year. The theme of this event was “Access to Information and Freedom of Press”. The open session of the ICIC is held this year via monthly thematic webinars until December 2021. You may follow the recorded webinar at the official account of ICIC on Youtube by clicking here.
  2. On September 9, was held the last meeting of the Global Privacy Assembly’s Strategic Direction Sub-committee (SDSC) ahead of the annual conference, with the participation of the Authorities of Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Albania. The focus of the meeting was the upcoming edition of the Global Privacy Assembly and the conclusion of the work carried out by the Sub-committee in 2021. The Commissioner’s Office remains available in supporting the Sub-committee despite of the termination of its membership mandate in October 2021.
  3. On September 9 was held the event entitled “Free Flow of Data in the Western Balkans “organised by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). The Commissioner’s Office participated in the discussion held around the draft-report of the RCC on the “Regional Framework for the free flow of data in Western Balkans region”, and will continue engaging in the cross national institutions working group, part of the initiative for the free flow of data in the Western Balkans. It is worthy highlighting that this initiative is inscribed in the context of the Multi-Annual Action Plan for a Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkans – Map, endorsed by the leaders of Western Balkans at the Trieste Summit on 12 July 2017.
  4. In the capacity of observer to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the Commissioner’s Office attended the 54th plenary meeting of this forum which was held on 14 September 2021.
  5. On 16 September, the Commissioner’s Office was represented at the meeting of the Global Privacy Assembly’s (GPA) Executive Committee. The meeting was focused around the preparations made by the counterpart authority of Mexico in relation to the upcoming edition of the conference, to be held from 18-21 October 2021. Several other technical aspects were discussed also in relation to this event, whereas in the report made by the Chair of the Strategic Direction Sub-committee was highlighted also the contribution of the Commissioner’s Office under the strategic objective of data governance in the public sector.
  6. On September 20, 22, 28 and 30 were held the training sessions in the ambit of the DECOS Project “‘Developing Capacity, Cooperation and Culture in Overseeing the Security Sectors of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia (DECOS)’. The main topic of these sessions was the ‘Inclusive oversight of law enforcement agencies in Albania’, featuring experts of the project from the Netherlands.  Another theme was also discussed entitled “Corruption within Law Enforcement Agencies, the Influence of Organised Crime and Potential Oversight Measures” with guest speaker Mr. Guenther Freisleben, Retired Major General of the German Police, and former Head of EULEX Police, Kosovo. The representatives of the Commissioner’s Office ensured active participation in these sessions, which mark the conclusion of the first phase of this project.
  7. Upon invitation of the Francophone Association of Personal Data Protection Authorities (AFAPDP), the Commissioner’s Office attended from 27-28 September 2021 the 7th edition of the Days of Institutional Networks of the Francophonie, organised by the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF). The AFAPDP is part of 16 institutional networks of the OIF, whereas the Commissioner’s Office is elected as of 2019 as member of the Bureau of the AFAPDP (Vice-President’s post). Some of the themes discussed in the event were “The Civil Status”, featuring a component dealing with issues relating to the protection of personal data, “Fight against disinformation”, “Strengthening of the Rule of Law and upholding human rights through prevention and fight against corruption”, “Democratic processes”, and the “OIF-RIF Partnership”.
  8. On 29 September, the Commissioner’s Office followed the 5th webinar of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC), as part of the open session of the 12th edition of the ICIC. The theme of the event was “Challenges of Transparency in the Digital Governments: Transparency of public administration in the use of Artificial Intelligence”. The recorded webinar may be followed at the official page of the ICIC on Youtube, by clicking here.