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International congress “Right to be forgotten versus right to remember”

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On 10/10/2016Academy Palace (Brussels ) Tariffs : 50€ (Students: 25€)Contact : - 0032 2 548 38 23

In May 2016, the European Parliament adopted a new regulation intended to enhance the natural persons’ protection with regard to the processing of their personal data. At this end, a “right to be forgotten” has been introduced. What are its implications for the archives sector and how will personal data have to be dealt with in public archives? And what about the right to remember? In order to make a first assessment, the State Archives in Belgium are organizing on October 10th 2016 an international congress on the “Right to be forgotten versus right to remember”.

On May 4th 2016 the European Parliament adopted a new Regulation on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation (gdpr)).

The gdpr introduces some new individual rights, such as the right to erasure or “right to be forgotten” (art. 17). Archivists and everyone re-using archival documents for research purposes – such as historians, jurists, investigation journalists, staff of study and documentation centers, representatives of family and local history associations and many more – are worried about the impact of the “right to be forgotten” on their activities and they actually wonder to which extent archives still will be able to meet criteria such as accessibility, reliability, authenticity, completeness, etc.

On October 10th 2016, the State Archives will make a first assessment of these issues during the international congress “Right to be forgotten versus right to remember” (Academy Palace, Brussels).


  • 9 am – Reception (coffee & tea)
  • 9.30 am – Welcome address: Elke Sleurs, Belgian State Secretary for Science Policy
  • 9.45 am – Introduction: Karel Velle, National archivist of Belgium
  • 10.00 am – Key note: Luca de Matteis (Criminal Justice and Data Protection, Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union – EU):
    The right to be forgotten: key issues and developments in the EU General Data Protection Regulation
  • 10.30 am – Morning session: Right to be forgotten – chair: Willem Debeuckelaere (Privacy Commission – BE)

    Andrea Hänger  (Bundesarchiv – Germany):
    The right to be forgotten and archives services, archivists and society/citizens
    Patrick Van Eecke (Universiteit Antwerpen & DLA Piper – Belgium):
    The right to be forgotten, in particular its principles and implementation
  • 11.20-11.40 am: coffee break

    Hervé Lemoine (Archives de France):
    Les données personnelles dans les archives publiques françaises : loi, accès et sécurité
    Malcolm Todd (The National Archives Kew – UK):
    Personal data in UK public archives
  • 12.30 pm – Discussion
  • 1.00 pm – Lunch
  • 2.00 pm – Afternoon session: Right to remember – chair: Dirk Luyten (Cegesoma – BE)

    Agnieszka Jędrzak (Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) – Poland):
    L'IPN en ses qualités d'administration gouvernementale et judiciaire, service d'archives, établissement académique, centre éducatif et organisme d’enquête
    Florent Thouvenin (University of Zurich & Center for Information Technology, Society, and Law (ITSL) – Switzerland):
    Remembering and Forgetting in the Digital Age
    Giulia Barrera (ICA-Human Rights Working Group – ICA HRWG):
    Basic Principles on the Role of Archivists in support of Human Rights
    Joris van Hoboken (Information Law Institute, New York University – USA):
    The Right to be Forgotten seen from the perspective of the Right to Remember
  • 4.00 pm – Debate – moderator: Karel Velle
    Speakers – Willem Debeuckelaere – … other stakeholders
  • 5.00 pm – Drink

Target audience

Archivists, historians, history and archival sciences students, archival science teachers, journalists, journalism students, representatives from genealogical associations and genealogists, interested citizens, …


  • Participation costs 50€. Students can register at half price (25€), if they can provide a copy of their student card.
  • To register, please send an e-mail to (with copy of student card for those who want to benefit from the student rate) and transfer the registration fee before 1 October 2016 to the account of the National Archives, rue de Ruysbroeck 2, 1000 Brussels: BE32 679200780502 – BIC PCHQBEBB, mentioning your name and ‘Congress 10/10’.

More information?

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