9 September 2022 – The Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency, the coordinator of the ARC II project, organized the first meeting with the project partners: the Italian Data Protection Supervisory Authority (Garante Privacy), the Faculty of Organization and Informatics from Varaždin, the Vrije University Brussels and the University of Florence.

This project is a continuation of the successfully implemented ARC project https://arc-rec-project.eu/arc/, which aimed to provide micro, small and medium-sized enterprises support in their efforts to comply with the GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the strongest and most comprehensive law to regulate the collection and use of personal data of EU citizens. It enables free movement of personal data within the EU and in this way boosts the data economy by facilitating the cross-border exchange of data. Even after more than four years of its application, compliance with the GDPR remains challenging especially for SMEs. Therefore, there is a strong need for the development of practical guidance and digital tools that can also be replicated in other Member states, and adapted to SMEs needs to facilitate them the implementation of GDPR obligations.

The ARC II project will directly address the referred issues, as ARC II Consortium will: develop an open-source, freely accessible, interoperable and innovative digital tool Olivia, tailor-made to specific needs of SMEs, conduct 20 GDPR workshops in Croatia and 20 in Italy during which SMEs will be able to receive direct support to resolve their particular problems regarding GDPR compliance, run an awareness raising campaign in Croatian and Italian media, create educational materials and videos, organise 2 validation workshops, 2 international conferences to disseminate project results, promote digital tool Olivia and encourage SMEs to use it, as well as to raise awareness on personal data protection among the general public.

Overall expected direct result of ARC II project is increased knowledge and understanding among SMEs of their obligations arising from the GDPR and Italian and Croatian data protection legal frameworks. The project will result in GDPR compliance digital tool that shall be developed in open-source code, therefore all the data protection authorities (DPAs) could adapt it to their national legislation and language. In this way, SMEs across the EU will be able to benefit from the project results of the ARC II project.

ARC II is co-financed under the EU “Citizens, Equality, Right and Values” Programme, Grant Agreement number 101072630.