Political agreements to appoint members of constitutional bodies sometimes encounter problems that can hardly be ignored. Such is the case of the election of the presidency (and the deputy to the presidency) of the powerful Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD), whose selection is complex, transparent and public, and is included in the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data and The Guarantee of Digital Rights that, remember, both PSOE and PP voted enthusiastically.
A few days ago we knew that the parties in the Government -PSOE and Unidas Podemos- presented Belén Cardona as ‘their’ candidate for the Presidency, the PP did the same with Borja Adsuara to occupy the position of deputy to the Presidency.
But with the subsequent announcement of the current director of the European data protection supervisor (EDPS), Leonardo Cervera Navas, to announce his candidacy, the election was complicated. And he wasn’t going to be the only one to show up.
In the end there have been no less than eleven candidates who have applied for both positions. The provisional list of the Ministry of Justice lists five as admitted candidates and another six as «provisionally excluded candidates awaiting correction», that is, they lack documentation. It is striking at this point that one of the «provisionally excluded» is Adsuara, the candidate promoted by the PP, but has a period of documentary correction that lasts until next Thursday.
A complex procedure
The election of the Presidency and its Adjunct is included both in the Organic Law on Data Protection (Article 48) and in the statutes of the agency itself (Royal Decree 389/2021, of June 1, which approves the Statute of the Spanish Agency for Data Protection, articles 12 and 16).
It is important to go to the normative texts to be able to understand the complexity of this choice with respect to the previous method –the director was proposed by the Government directly– and the paradox that it is necessary, in any case, an agreement between the two major national parties.