One of the main aims of the General Data Protection Regulation is to empower people and give them more control over one of the most valuable resources in modern economy - their data. We can only reach this goal if and when people have become fully aware of their rights and the consequences of their decisions.

...First Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Ansip, Commissioners Jourová and Gabriel, said in a joint statement.

Less than a year after the regulation entered into force, citizens have become more conscious of the importance of data protection and of their rights, with national Data Protection Authorities having received more than 95,000 complaints from citizens by now, they stressed.

The Data Protection Authorities are also enforcing the new rules and better coordinating their actions in the European Data Protection Board. They are guiding companies, especially small and medium sized enterprises, and citizens, explaining them their rights and obligations.

Practical implementation by Member States is now well advanced. We count, however, on the five remaining Member States to adapt their legal frameworks to the new EU-wide rules as soon as possible...There is a clear convergence at international level towards a modern data protection regime. This facilitates data exchanges and supports trade. The best example is the recent adoption of our mutual adequacy findings with Japan. With this, we have created the world's largest area of free and safe data flows.

The Council of Europe launched the Data Protection Day in 2006, to be celebrated each year on 28 January.

The General Data Protection Regulation has been applying since 25 May 2018. In January 2018, the Commission published a guidance document to facilitate the smooth application of the new data protection rules across the EU as of 25 May. The Commission also launched a new online tool to inform organisation and citizens about the new rules.

The Commission will launch the raising awareness campaign to help citizens and businesses, especially small and medium sized, understand better their new rights and obligations and will organise an event in June to take stock with authorities, companies and others of where we stand one year after the entry into application of the General Data Protection Regulation.