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Juan Luis Requejo Pagés

Data protection at the crossroads between European Union Law and the Spanish Constitution

Social Sciences Conference Wednesday, April, 24th, 2019, 19:30 hours Madrid

Conference Cycle: "The right to the protection of personal data in the digital society"

General information

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces, C/ Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity..

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces


María Emilia Casas Baamonde. Social Science Council Fundación Ramón Areces.


  • Description
  • Programme


New digital technologies generate large amounts of data relating to people, whose knowledge and use pose obvious risks to their rights and freedoms, in particular for their fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of personal data, and, therefore, for democratic constitutional systems in digitalized societies. The Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, develops the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (GDPR), in what affects the right to data protection personal and, in addition, includes what he calls digital rights in relation to the internet, social networks or other digital devices. The conferences that make up this cycle, given by leading specialists, will address the normative treatment of these rights, of unquestionable transnational character, unraveling and valuing the guarantees raised in their defense by European and domestic law before the unstoppable technological innovation and its challenges, and the effectiveness of these guarantees. In all areas where people's lives unfold without exception. The protection of Criminal Law of the use of personal information presents an undeniable importance, while that personal information is necessary to organize policies of criminal investigations for the prevention of international crime. The specific projection of privacy and digital rights in companies in relation to the use of digital devices, video surveillance, sound recording or geolocation systems will also deserve due attention in this cycle of conferences.

Wednesday, April, 24th

19:00 h.

Attendee check-in

19:30 h.


Raimundo Pérez-Hernández y Torra
Director of Fundación Ramón Areces.


Data protection at the crossroads between European Union Law and the Spanish Constitution

Juan Luis Requejo Pagés
Letrado at the Spanish Constitutional Court.
Professor in Constitutional Law at the University of Oviedo.

Juan Luis Requejo Pagés is Professor in Constitutional Law at the University of Oviedo (on leave of absence) and Letrado at the Spanish Constitutional Court. Since 2010 he has been working as a référendaire at the European Court of Justice.

Among his latest publications related to European Union Law are “Algunas consideraciones sobre la relevancia constitucional del Derecho de la Unión”, in Libro homenaje a Javier Delgado Barrio (2015); “El final de un privilegio. Apuntes sobre un modelo europeo de justicia constitucional”, in Libro homenaje a Manuel Aragón Reyes (2016); and “El futuro de un vértice jurisdiccional cada vez más complejo”, in Anuario de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2018).

His latest book is El sueño constitucional (2016).


Information is power. In particular, information about personal data grants those who hold it an advantage incompatible with the presuppositions of freedom. If constitutionalism endeavours to put a limit to power, the protection of personal data constitutes one of its most urgent tasks in the 21st century, a century whose first decades have already outlined with certain clarity the birth of what has been named as ‘surveillance capitalism’.

The transnational nature of the phenomenon of collection, manipulation and use of personal data requires for its treatment and control a normative and jurisdictional mechanism that no individual State is in a position to offer. To the global dimension of the problem it is only possible to give a universal solution, which is currently unfeasible. The European Union’s determination to supply its own regime of protection and guarantees entails mediating a continental response that although still insufficient before a global phenomenon can still be heard more efficiently than the solutions offered by the nation States.

A superficial exam of the European regime of personal data protection brings certain optimism concerning constitutional guarantees. Built as a fundamental right in Article 8 of the Charter, its normative and jurisprudential treatment has made way for a prominent system of guarantees. Nonetheless, the articulation of such system with those established by the Member States raises several difficulties to the extent that its coexistence may be impossible and can eventually put at risk the position of the citizen.

The problem is not only about the difficulties posed by the conjunction of normative systems that do not share a common constitutional norm, that is about those inherent to the essence of the integration process. The definitive difficulty is a difficulty of principle, the one that mediates between a code conceived for market freedom and another born for the defence of the freedom of the citizen. This is what this presentation is about.

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