According to Recital (47) of the GDPR, processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be based on a legitimate interest (Art. 6 (1) letter f) of the GDPR). However, where direct marketing is performed through electronic means of communication, the special legislation becomes applicable, in particular, EU Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (the “E-privacy Directive”) implemented in the Romanian legislation under Law no. 506/2004 on processing of personal data and protection of private life in the electronic communications sector (the “E-privacy Law”).
On July 30, 2020, Law no. 155/2020 amending and supplementing Law no. 123/2012 on electricity and natural gas (“Romanian Energy Law”) and other regulatory acts entered into force. Part of the changes brought to the Romanian Energy Law are aimed at implementing the regulatory framework necessary for the development of an integrated EU energy market through common energy market rules and a cross-border infrastructure, pursuant to the Clean energy for all Europeans Package, including inter alia, Regulation (EU) 2019/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the internal market for electricity (“Internal Market Regulation”) and Directive (EU) 2019/944 on common rules for the internal market for electricity (“Internal Market Directive”). Such framework is aimed at ensuring the necessary structure for consumers to become more active and to effectively contribute to keeping the electricity system stable, through a balance of the supply and demand.
Earlier on 23 June 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (the „Court”) issued a decision in the case Vladimir Kharitonov v. Russia (Application no. 10795/14), in which the Court reiterated that blocking access to a website may constitute a violation of freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the „Convention”). Prior to this, the Court had ruled on this matter in other relevant cases, i.e. Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey (no. 3111/10, ECHR 2012) and Cengiz and Others v. Turkey, nos. 48226/10 and 14027/11, ECHR 2015) and the Court’s new decision reminds us of some of the principles stated before. The decision was issued along with other three cases, OOO Flavus and Others v. Russia (application nos. 12468/15, 23489/15, and 19074/16), Bulgakov v. Russia (no. 20159/15), and Engels v. Russia (no. 61919/16) all of which concern various forms of website blocking.
On 11 June 2020, the Romanian Government approved the Memorandum “General principles concerning the implementation of a support mechanism such as Contracts for Difference for the production of low-carbon electricity”. While a mere memorandum aimed at outlining an intention, the document is a milestone in the process of discussing a new support mechanism for investors in low-carbon technologies, initiated a few years ago.
The Romanian Government recently enacted the Emergency Government Ordinance No. 74/2020 (“EGO 74/2020”), which entered in force on 18 May 2020. An expected and necessary piece of legislation, EGO 74/2020 amends the Energy law No. 123/2012 (“Romanian Energy Law”) by expressly allowing bilateral power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) to be directly negotiated outside the centralized markets, although not for all electricity generation capacities, as further detailed below. Until now all wholesale electricity transactions had to be concluded exclusively on the centralized markets in a transparent, public, competitive and non-discriminatory manner, with limited exceptions generally for small generators.
As well known, the processing of special categories of personal data is prohibited under article 9 of GDPR, unless one of the exceptions for processing is met. In the first part of this article available here we have analyzed the corelative nature of Articles 9 and 6 under GDPR, whereas the second part, available here, focused on detailing the first seven exemptions set forth under Article 9 paragraph (2) letters a) – g) of the GDPR.
Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (“GDPR”) aims at introducing concepts and rules to strengthen the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons in respect of data processing activities. The question has been raised on whether and how the GDPR achieves this in relation to special categories of personal data, with opinions expressed as far as to question whether a specific regime for such categories of data is still adequate when we all agree that there may be not the data itself that is special or sensitive but rather its use.
Between around 2001-2011, certain private electricity suppliers (the “smart guys”, as they were called by the press) entered into long-term (10-15 years) bilateral power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) with state-owned producers (amongst which, notably Hidroelectrica) under quite unfavorable conditions for the latter. Basically, the “smart guys” used to buy electricity from the state-owned producers at very low prices while making large profits by re-selling this cheap electricity at much higher market prices. Such PPAs were directly negotiated between the parties outside an organized market (the whole process and the contract itself being a private and confidential matter) and many of them were loss making for the selling state-owned producers (for instance, Hidroelectrica filed for insolvency and unilaterally terminated all such contracts eventually).