Council of Europe

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Basic information:

Council of Europe (abbr. CoE) is the oldest international political organisation of Europe (May  5 1949, Treaty of London)

Headquaters: Palace of Europe (Strasbourg, France)

Working languages: English, French

Member states: 47


The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (CETS No. 108) opened for signature on 28 January 1981 and was the first legally binding international instrument in the data protection field. Under this Convention, the parties are required to take the necessary steps in their domestic legislation to apply the principles it lays down in order to ensure respect in their territory for the fundamental human rights of all individuals with regard to processing of personal data.

With the increase in exchanges of personal data across national borders, it is necessary to ensure the effective protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in particular the right to privacy in relation to such exchanges of personal data. The Additional Protocol opened for signature on 8 November 2001 requires Parties to set up supervisory authorities, exercising their functions in complete independence, which are an element of the effective protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data.

While the core principles contained in Convention 108 have stood the test of time and its technologically-neutral, principle-based approach constitutes an undeniable strength, the Council of Europe considered necessary to modernise its landmark instrument.

The modernisation of Convention 108 by Protocol (CETS: 223) pursued two main objectives: to deal with challenges resulting from the use of new information and communication technologies and to strengthen the Convention’s effective implementation.

The modernized Convention aims to get the level of personal data protection closer to the European rules in this field and to lower barriers among other states, ensuring relevant level of personal data protection in the world.

You can find modernised Convention 108+ here:




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2023 Office for Personal Data Protection of the Slovak Republic