The social initiative of the Association of Poles in Lithuania is not only implemented in accordance with legal acts in the field of data protection, but also plays an important role in the context of the 2021 universal census
In recent days, false information has appeared regarding the Social Census of the Polish Population in the Vilnius Region.
The Association of Poles in Lithuania (APL) has been staying in contact (both by e-mail and by phone) with the State Data Protection Inspectorate (SDPI) for already more than one month, i.e. from 13th January 2021. APL aims to ensure that the initiative of the Social Census of the Polish Population in the Vilnius Region is implemented in accordance with the Lithuanian Act on legal protection of data and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In its letter sent to APL, SDPI has emphasized that neither the GDPR nor the SDPI prohibit the collection and processing of personal data, especially if it relates to the initiatives of civil societies and social organizations, nevertheless they can make recommendations, draw attention to or help social organizations to implement their initiatives and ensure their compliance with the basic principles of personal data processing (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).
Therefore, it is obvious that the social initiative – the Social Census of the Polish Population in the Vilnius Region – is implemented in accordance with all applicable legal acts in the field of data protection – both EU and national.
APL emphasized that the social initiative, which is implemented on a voluntary basis, is implemented not only in accordance with legal acts in the field of data protection, but also plays an important role in the context of the universal census of 2021 in the field of informing residents.
Similar social censuses, which are welcomed and even promoted by almost all governments of the EU member states, have been organized by national minorities on numerous occasions: by the Hungarian national minority in Romania and Slovakia, by the Croatian national minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.
The social initiative of APL has already received international support. A letter with a declaration of support for the initiative was sent to APL by Lorant Vincze, Member of the European Parliament, President of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN). We also ask other non-governmental organizations in Lithuania to support and promote the APL campaign.
We are sure that the Association of Poles in Lithuania, in close cooperation with official institutions of our country, will successfully implement the social initiative of the Census of Polish People in the Vilnius Region in the coming months.
Coordinator of the social initiative of the Association of Poles in Lithuania