The third leg of EDPS' activities can best be described as cooperation. It covers work on specific issues, such as the interpretation of the EU Data Protection Directive, as well as more structural collaboration together with other data protection authorities. The overriding aim of the EDPS is to promote consistency in the protection of personal data throughout the EU.
The central forum for cooperation in the EU is the
Article 29 Working Party
. This is where the national data protection authorities meet to exchange views on current issues, to discuss a common interpretation of data protection legislation and to give expert advice to the European Commission.
The EDPS also participates in the work to ensure good data protection in the EU's third pillar, which covers police and judicial cooperation (formerly "EU's third pillar"). This includes attending a number of meetings of the Joint Supervisory Bodies with deal with information systems in the area of police and justice. He is also a member of the Working Party on Police and Justice set up by the European Conference to provide advice in the area of law enforcement.
One of the most important cooperative tasks relates to the large scale IT system
, where the responsibilities for data protection supervision are shared. The system consists of national units (subject to national law), and a central unit (subject to the EU Data Portection Regulation). It therefore requires a coordinated approach that is developed through biannual coordination meetings organised by the EDPS.
Two major data protection conferences are organised each year. Every spring, a
gathers data protection officials from authorities in the Member States of the EU and the Council of Europe. And every autumn, a wide range of data protection experts, from the public as well as the private sector, meets for the
which are exempted from national law, often find themselves without a legal framework for data protection. Because all of them process personal data, the EDPS took the initiative in 2005 of organising a workshop on 'data protection as part of good governance in international organisations' with representatives from some 20 organisations. Two follow-up workshops have been organised since then.