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LIBE EP Committee: No PNR data sharing within the EU

8 May, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: LIBE-Ausschuss des EP gegen EU-weiten Austausch von PNR-Daten

The directive obliging airlines to pass personal details of EU passengers to the authorities of the EU member states was rejected by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament (EP) on 24 April 2013.

The proposal was presented in February 2011 as an anti-terrorism measure to be applied for passengers flying in and out the EU, much the same with the agreement of the EU with the US, and had in view passenger data such as name, address, phone number and credit card details. The supporters of the bill have shown their disappointment. Timothy Kirkhope, the British conservative MEP and Rapporteur on this dossier, considered the vote "did not show parliament in a good light” as such an agreement “would have enabled us to track terrorists, people traffickers and other serious criminals and it would put in place strong protections for passenger data."

The proposal has been strongly criticised because it allows storing of data by the police for five years and PNR profiling. Civil rights organisations and even the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights raised a number of issues related to the bill, including privacy violations, lack or disproportionate control, lack of protection against discrimination, ambiguity of the text, lack of evidence needed to point out suspects.

"This disproportionate proposal would have been a grave departure from the constitutional presumption of innocence. This unacceptable paradigm shift in security policy would reverse the presumption of innocence, as well as breaching rulings of constitutional courts in Europe and the European Court of Human Rights,” said home affairs and civil liberties spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP who added: "Thankfully, MEPs have voted to prevent this and to defend the rule of law and fundamental rights in Europe. This decision must now be respected: the European Commission must withdraw this wrongheaded proposal."

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Civil Liberties Committee chair, proposed the bill to be put to the Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (EP and political group presidents) for a decision if the draft directive would go for a vote in the plenary or not.

In a nutshell, the future of the EU PNR directive is unclear.

MEPs vote down air passenger data scheme (24.04.2013)

MEPs reject EU passenger data storage scheme (24.04.2013)

Civil Liberties Committee rejects EU Passenger Name Record proposal (24.04.2013)

Directive on passenger data: EU internal committee votes against retention of traveller data (only in German, 24.04.2013)

Timothy Kirkhope press conference

EDRi-gram: Commission's proposal for PNR Directive fails to impress MEPs (9.02.2011)



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