GDPR : Article 62 - Joint Operations of Supervisory Authorities

by Nash V


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a transformative force in the realm of data protection, reshaping how organizations handle personal data. One pivotal facet of GDPR is the imperative cooperation and coordination among supervisory authorities across the European Union (EU). At the heart of this collaborative effort lies Article 62 GDPR, a provision that establishes the framework for joint operations of supervisory authorities. Its purpose is to ensure the consistent and harmonized application and enforcement of data protection regulations, safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals within the EU.

Principles of Cooperation article 62 GDPR

Understanding the GDPR and Supervisory Authorities

Before we dive into Art. 62 GDPR, it's essential to grasp the GDPR's broader context. The GDPR, which came into effect on May 25, 2018, is a comprehensive data protection regulation that applies to all EU member states and affects businesses worldwide. Its primary aim is to safeguard individuals' fundamental rights and freedoms concerning their personal data.

Supervisory authorities play a pivotal role in GDPR enforcement. These are independent public authorities established by each EU member state to monitor and enforce data protection laws. Their responsibilities include handling data breach notifications, conducting investigations, and imposing fines for GDPR violations.

Art. 62 GDPR: Joint Operations of Supervisory Authorities

Article 62 GDPR is a provision that underscores the necessity of cooperation among supervisory authorities in various situations. It reads:

"1. The supervisory authorities shall cooperate with each other and, where relevant, with the Union institutions and bodies and the authorities of third countries to ensure the consistent application and enforcement of this Regulation."
This article sets the stage for a harmonized approach to data protection across the EU and beyond.

Principles of Cooperation

To understand Art. 62 fully, let's explore the principles that underlie this cooperation among supervisory authorities:

  • Consistency: The primary goal of Art. 62 is to ensure the consistent application and enforcement of the GDPR. This means that similar cases should be treated similarly across different EU member states.
  • Cooperation: Supervisory authorities must cooperate with each other. This can involve sharing information, coordinating investigations, and jointly addressing cross-border data protection issues.
  • Involvement of Third Countries: The GDPR acknowledges that data protection issues often transcend EU borders. Thus, supervisory authorities may need to collaborate with authorities in third countries, such as when data transfers or international investigations are involved.

Practical Applications of Art. 62 GDPR

Art. 62 GDPR has practical implications that affect both supervisory authorities and organizations processing personal data. Let's explore some key applications:

  • Cross-border Data Breaches: When a data breach affects individuals in multiple EU member states, supervisory authorities in those states must cooperate to investigate the breach, assess its impact, and determine the appropriate actions to take.
  • Consistency in Enforcement: To avoid regulatory arbitrage, supervisory authorities must ensure that GDPR rules are applied consistently when handling similar cases. This prevents organizations from choosing jurisdictions with lenient enforcement.
  • One-Stop-Shop Mechanism: Art. 62 complements the GDPR's one-stop-shop mechanism (Art. 60-61), where the lead supervisory authority oversees cases involving organizations with establishments in multiple EU member states. Cooperation among supervisory authorities is crucial in these cases to ensure effective enforcement.
  • Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs): Organizations seeking approval for BCRs, which facilitate cross-border data transfers within a corporate group, often require cooperation between supervisory authorities from different EU member states to grant these approvals.
GDPR Implementation Toolkit

Benefits of Art. 62 GDPR

The joint operations of supervisory authorities, as outlined in Art. 62 GDPR offer several key benefits:

  • Consistency: It promotes uniform application and enforcement of data protection laws, ensuring that individuals' rights are protected equally across the EU.
  • Efficiency: By cooperating and sharing resources, supervisory authorities can conduct investigations more efficiently, reducing the burden on both authorities and organizations.
  • Cross-Border Issue Resolution: In our interconnected world, many data protection issues transcend national borders. Art. 62 enables swift resolution of cross-border challenges, benefiting individuals and organizations alike.
  • Enhanced Data Protection: Ultimately, the joint operations of supervisory authorities lead to stronger data protection. Organizations are more likely to comply with GDPR when they know that enforcement is consistent and robust.

Challenges and Considerations

While Art. 62 GDPR brings many advantages, it is not without its challenges and considerations:

  • Differing Legal Traditions: EU member states have diverse legal traditions and systems. These differences can complicate the interpretation and application of GDPR rules, making it challenging to achieve a consistent approach to data protection enforcement.
  • Resource Allocation: Effective cooperation often requires substantial time, effort, and resources from supervisory authorities. Smaller authorities may face difficulties in allocating the necessary resources, potentially leading to disparities in their ability to engage in joint operations effectively.
  • Language Barriers: While many EU institutions operate in multiple languages, language differences within the EU can create communication challenges between supervisory authorities. These barriers can slow down the exchange of information and cooperation efforts.
  • Data Transfers to Third Countries: Collaborating with supervisory authorities from third countries introduces additional complexities. Different data protection standards, legal frameworks, and languages in third countries can complicate the cooperation process and data transfer assessments.
  • Cross-Border Disputes: Resolving cross-border data protection disputes can be intricate. Balancing the interests and interpretations of multiple supervisory authorities and ensuring that all parties agree on a course of action can be time-consuming and challenging.


Article 62 GDPR plays a crucial role in harmonizing data protection efforts across the EU. It promotes cooperation among supervisory authorities, ensuring that individuals' personal data is consistently protected. This provision enhances efficiency, consistency, and the overall effectiveness of data protection enforcement.

As data continues to flow across borders and technology evolves, the joint operations of supervisory authorities are more critical than ever. By embracing the principles outlined in Art. 62, the EU can maintain its leadership in data protection, benefitting both its citizens and organizations operating within its jurisdiction. In an increasingly interconnected world, Art. 62 GDPR stands as a beacon of cooperation and consistency in safeguarding data privacy and security.

GDPR Implementation Toolkit