Déi Gréng MP François Bausch handed over his portfolio for internal security to Henri Kox (Déi Gréng), pictured right, on 23 July
For our “summer like no other”, Delano sister publication Paperjam reviews the hot issues that will dominate the political calendar when activities resume in the autumn. Among them is the so-called second criminal record scandal, which marked the government's summer of 2019 and remains ongoing.
A year ago, the opposition left the House with a bang because it had been refused an amendment to the agenda to hear prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) about the affair of the second criminal record.
What began as a complaint from an unsuccessful candidate who was refused at a job because of a criminal matter for which he had never appeared in court or been convicted, the case took on worrying proportions.
The issue revolved around the government's stubborn denial that the central police register and other databases managed by the State or its administrations did not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, which was transposed in July 2018 in the Grand Duchy.
The case, which some vindictive MPs would probably have liked to see an unforgiving backlash similar to the response to the secret service affair which brought an end to the CSV government in 2013, is pertinent because it has forced the current government to get its hands dirty and try to clean up practices that do not comply with society's changing views and privacy legislation.
MP Gilles Roth (CSV), for example, had already challenged the CSV-LSAP government about the legal malaise surrounding the central police file, without success.
It has to be said that, although calm has more or less returned in the discussions in committee, in particular, the DP-LSAP-Déi Gréng coalition had to get out the oars and blow on the sails to get ride out a rough patch. Deputy prime minister François Bausch and justice minister Sam Tanson (both Déi Gréng) buried the hatchet in the autumn of 2019, after an unequivocal opinion from the National Data Protection Commission, and began a more constructive discussion with MPs.
Nine months and numerous consultations later, Mr Bausch submitted a draft bill to the MPs of the committee in charge at the beginning of June, giving them time for analysis. Should the data be deleted after a while, or just archived with restricted access? These are the two options, neither of which really satisfies the main users of the dozens of police and judicial databases, namely the police and magistrates in the course of their investigations, as State Prosecutor General Martine Solovieff has pointed out.
Promised at the end of July, the draft law will finally be presented to the government in September. Mr Bausch will be officially relieved of this task, since he has just handed over his portfolio of internal security to Henri Kox (Déi Gréng). But, it goes without saying that the deputy prime minister has already made a decision.
Further developments cannot be ruled out in the course of the legislative procedure. The text still has to pass through the Council of State, and the National Commission for Data Protection (which recently called the legislator to order for its negligence in its instructions concerning data from the large-scale screening and tracing of Covid+ persons).
This article was originally published in French on Paperjam.lu