Skip to content

The Two Sides of the Mediterranean Sea: A Common Core for Data Protection – An international workshop organised by the Jean Monnet Chair

On December 12 the Jean Monnet Chair in Mediterranean Digital Societies and Law held an international workshop on Mediterranean dialogue for the use of data in digital societies, with the participation of data protection authorities from Italy, Morocco and Tunisia, and academics and civil society experts from Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain.

During the workshop, the Network of Experts on Digital Mediterranean Societies (NEDMS) was launched.

During the workshop, the discussion on the future of digital societies and the role of a common data policy was articulated along five main axes: (i) cultural heritage and tourism, (ii) smart cities, (iii) crisis management, (iv) trade and employment, and (v) the integration of the Mediterranean area into the global digital space. The discussion, held under the Chatham House Rule, made it possible to develop some key points for a first initiative towards a Mediterranean strategy for digital societies, which had a follow-up in Morocco at the beginning of 2023.

In the workshop discussion, the need for an approach that can increase trust in technological solutions emerged. Participants emphasised that this necessarily requires both attention to the values of the communities concerned and an active involvement of these communities in the design of operational solutions.

Furthermore, a common approach to digital societies was identified among the countries of the Mediterranean area, aimed at preserving the characteristics of local communities against forms of power concentration linked to new technologies, which often have standardising outcomes insensitive to the socio-cultural variables of each context. This type of approach finds a unifying element in the protection of human rights, which should also be promoted in the digital context.

(Here is the news on the Politecnico website)

 Full list of the participants in the workshop and their qualifications:

Dr. Guido Scorza, Member of the Board of the Garante per la protezione dei dati personali (Italian DPA)

Mr Chawki Gaddès, President of the Instance nationale de protection des données personnelles (Tunisian DPA) and President of the Francophone Association of Personal Data Protection Authorities (AFAPDP)

Mr Omar Seghrouchni, President of the Commission Nationale de contrôle de la protection des Données à caractère Personnel (Moroccan DPA)

Mr Olivier Matter, Head of International Cooperation, EDPS

Mr Xavier Puig Soler, Autoritat Catalana de Protecció de Dades (Catalan DPA)

Prof. Joe Cannataci, Head of the Department of Information Policy & Governance Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta; Chair of European Information Policy & Technology Law, University of Groningen

Dr. Mariavittoria Catanzariti, Research Associate, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies European University Institute

Prof.  Jeanne Mifsud Bonnici, Professor of European Technology Law and Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Groningen and University of Malta

Prof. Lilian Mitrou, Professor of Privacy and Information Law, University of the Aegean; President of the Institute for Privacy Law, Data Protection and Technology (IPL) – European Public Law Organization

Prof. Miquel Peguera Poch, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Dr. Aitana Radu, Lecturer, University of Malta

Dr. Amer Bani Amer, General Director, Al-Hayat Center for Civil Society Development

Mr Eleftherios Chelioudakis, Co-founder, Homo Digitalis

Ms Francesca Fanucci, Senior Legal Advisor, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Ms Karolina Iwańska, Digital Civic Space Advisor, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law