Data protection has become a buzzword worldwide since the adoption of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its implementation in May 2018. The Regulation caused a significant effect on global dta protection regulation mainly due to high fines envisaged as well as its broad territorial scope. The result thereof was several national legislations being adopted globally reflecting most or some of new European data protection provisions. The Regulation, as well as other pertinent legal documents, quite expectedly affected all EU candidate countries that initiated respective harmonization processes. Each of them had their own pace, as well as challenges, in adjusting national legal regimes to Union acquis. The paper aims at identifying the challenges faced by respective national legislators in the Western Balkans countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia in their transposition of the GDPR, as well as the Law Enforcement Directive, into domestic law. In addition, the paper will try to examine the adaptiveness of national legislation to the EU regulation and the law-making processes in each country. Finally, the paper will estimate whether the sole reliance on the European legislation is suitable or may even cause confusion in the proper implementation and harmonisation with acquis, and where possible, suggest alternative approaches in respective WB countries to enable gradual compliance that may better serve the current state of data protection therein.
Keywords: data protection, GDPR, EU harmonisation.