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European Citizens' Initiative

Data Protection Guidance - Question 16

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Data Protection Guidance - Question 16

What are the data retention time limits? 

Statements of support:

Both the group of organisers and the Commission must destroy all statements of support signed for a given initiative (and any copies) by whichever of these dates comes first:

  • 1 month after the organisers submit the initiative to the Commission
  • 21 months after the collection period starts.

However, if you withdraw the initiative after the beginning of the collection period, the statements (and any copies) must be destroyed within 1 month after the withdrawal.

The national authorities called on to verify statements of support must destroy all the statements (and any copies) within 3 months of completing this process.


  • if you are involved in any legal or administrative proceedings linked to your initiative, you may retain the statements of support (and copies) for longer than these time limits, where they are required for these proceedings.
  • For initiatives, which have their collection period extended due to COVID-19 pandemic crisis, data retention periods are extended accordingly.

Email addresses:

The group of organisers and the Commission must destroy all records of email addresses by:

  • 1 month after withdrawing your initiative or
  • 12 months after the end of the collection period or
  • 12 months after submitting the initiative to the Commission.

However, if the Commission responds to a valid initiative with a formal communication, the retention period for the email addresses ends 3 years after the communication is published.


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