Closing the GDPR enforcement gap and looking at the enforcement model of the future


  • Ursula Pachl


  • Andrea Jelinek
  • Sinan Akdag
  • Gloria González Fuster
  • Jean Gonié

Organisation: BEUC

Room: Online 1

Timing: 14:15 - 15:30 on 27 January 2021

The GDPR introduced an innovative enforcement system for tackling cross-border data protection infringements by establishing mechanisms for cooperation between DPAs and the consistent application of the rules across the EU. Over two years since it became applicable, the GDPR now risks becoming a ‘’broken promise’’. The one-stop-shop enforcement mechanism is showing its shortcomings and enforcement against Big Tech is uncertain. The expectations that the GDPR would tackle systemic data protection infringements inherent to the widespread commercial surveillance in our digital world have not materialised. All this is having a negative impact on the protection of millions of consumers across Europe. We are at a turning point. It is necessary to close this enforcement gap before it is too late. It is also necessary to draw lessons from this experience and start shaping the ideal enforcement model for the future.

• What is creating the GDPR enforcement gap and how can we address it?
• What are the problems with the one-stop-shop mechanism and how can we address them?
• What should be the ideal model for enforcement to protect consumers in the digital world?
• What model would ensure desired balance between EU-level and national enforcement structures, bridging the gap between the quintessential territoriality of enforcement and the cross-border nature of digital services?


Ursula Pachl


Ms. Pachl is the Deputy Director General of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, representing 43 independent national consumer associations from 32 European countries. Before this, she has held different positions at BEUC, starting as Legal Advisor, than working as Senior Policy and Institutional Affairs Advisor. In her current role Ms. Pachl leads BEUC’s work on digital policies, consumer rights, redress and enforcement. She is also responsible for horizontal and strategic policy such as EU governance and Better Regulation issues and represents BEUC in High Level groups, namely the European Commission’s High Level Group for Artificial Intelligence, the stakeholder group of the EU’s Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and the European Commission’s REFIT platform.


Andrea Jelinek

European Data Protection Board EDPB (EU)

On January 1, 2014, Andrea Jelinek, who holds a doctorate degree in law, became head of the Austrian Data Protection Authority. While still a student, she worked as a consultant at the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), later as a trainee lawyer and from 1991 as a legal officer at the General Secretariat of the Austrian Rectors' Conference. Two years later, she moved to the Ministry of the Interior, where she first worked as a legal officer and later as head of department in the legal and legislative department. One of her specializations - asylum and immigration law - helped determine her further career. From October 2010 to June 2011 she was head of the Vienna Foreign Police, followed by a position as Head in the Regional Police Department. Before that, in 2003, she was the first woman in Vienna to be appointed head of a police commissioner's office. Since February 2018, she has been the Chair of the Article 29 Working Party, and as of May 2018 of the European Data Protection Board.

Sinan Akdag

Swedish Consumers' Association (SE)

Sinan Akdag is the digital expert of The Swedish Consumers’ Association, an NGO representing the consumer interest on national, regional and international level. Sinan’s work is centred on privacy and cybersecurity, but also includes accessibility, e-commerce and platform policy. The Swedish Consumers’ Association is a member of BEUC, and as such frequently takes part in coordinated enforcement actions along with other European consumer organisations.

Gloria González Fuster

Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS)(BE)

Prof. Dr. Gloria González Fuster is a Research Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)’s Faculty of Law and Criminology. Co-Director of the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group, and member of the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH), she investigates legal issues related to privacy, personal data protection and security. She teaches ‘Privacy and Data Protection Law‘ at VUB, and ‘Data Policies in the European Union’ at the Data Law option of the Master of Laws in International and European Law of VUB’s Institute for European Studies (IES).

Jean Gonié

Snap Inc (US)

Jean Gonié is the Director Europe Public Policy for Snapchat since October 2018. Jean was previously the Public Policy Director of Amazon France, and a member of the Management Team of Amazon France and worked for ten years at Microsoft (in Government Affairs in France, as Director of Privacy Policy EMEA in Brussels and as the Worldwide Public Sector Director for Privacy in the US). Before joining Microsoft in 2005, Jean was a legal adviser to the French Data Protection Authority (the CNIL).
Jean Gonié is also French Foreign Trade Affairs Advisor and co-founder and member of the Board of the French Tech Amsterdam.