Tuesday

12th Dec 2017

EU tells Russia to drop air passenger data law

  • Russia is set to impose a law that will force EU airlines to hand over personal passenger details (Photo: angeloangelo)

European airlines may be forced to hand over passenger details to Russian authorities in contravention of EU privacy rules or face landing and overflight bans.

Russian lawmakers are pushing through a passenger name record (PNR) law that comes into force on 1 July.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But EU officials have raised concerns over the proposal because it is being unilaterally imposed.

PNR agreements must be bilaterally agreed, says the European Commission.

“We are expecting them [Russia] to suspend the entry into force of the PNR measure,” the commission's home affairs spokesperson Michele Cercone told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (5 June).

Cercone says the commission has been kept in the dark about the details of the legislative proposal.

The Brussels executive first raised the issue with the Russians in Moscow earlier in the year and then sent a letter in mid-March, but never got a response it says.

“We are not familiar with the measures they are planning to introduce, so it is difficult for us to comment on the possible impact,” said Cercone.

Commission president Manuel Barroso also brought up the issue at an EU-Russia summit in Yekaterinburg on Monday.

He said the commission is now ready to conclude a long-awaited visa facilitation deal with Russia, but only "provided technical details are clarified and that future regulations in the area of transport and mobility do not negatively affect our citizens and transport operators."

For her part, Viktoria Vajnai, a spokeswoman from the Association of European Airlines (AEA), says that without a bilateral agreement there would be no legal basis for the airlines to transfer passenger data.

“The possible consequences might include overflight and landing bans,” she told this website.

Such a ban would affect 53,000 flights a year to and from Asia which transit over Russia’s Siberia by EU-based carriers.

Vajnai says the airlines have yet to be officially informed of the conflicting legislative proposal.

Russia’s permanent representative to the EU was unable to provide an immediate comment because he is away, his spokesperson said.

The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee is set to discuss the issue on Monday in Strasbourg.

A separate PNR directive was rejected in April by MEPs in the civil liberties committee.

The latest proposal would have allowed authorities to collect EU passenger data details, such as credit card information for the purpose of investigations into serious crimes and terrorist offences.

The MEPs said proposal should, in their view, provide a better balance between security and civil rights.

The committee was initially unable to refer the PNR debacle to a plenary vote because it was among one of five legislative files blocked last year when member states stripped the parliament of its co-legislator role on the border-free Schengen related proposals.

A parliament source says they have now reconciled the differences with the council and unblocked all the dossiers.

MEPs are now set to vote on the PNR directive at next week's Strasbourg plenary, said the source.

Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership

Bucharest expects other member states to decide on its accession to the passport-free area before it takes the rotating EU presidency on 1 January 2019 - amid criticism of a controversial new justice reform.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

News in Brief

  1. EU to Israel: Don't expect us to move embassies
  2. EU Commission condemns anti-semitic 'Jerusalem' protests
  3. Ministers have 'lots of questions' on new CAP plans
  4. Commission: Brexit agreement is 'deal between gentlemen'
  5. 25 EU states sign defence cooperation pact
  6. Netanyahu wants 'hardy' talks with EU on Jerusalem
  7. French centre-right elects new leader
  8. Germany and UK increase arms sales

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Alignment with EU is 'last resort', May tells MPs
  2. Iceland: further from EU membership than ever
  3. Israel presses Jerusalem claim in EU capital
  4. From dark coal toward a brighter future
  5. UK casts doubt on EU deal in 'bizarre' twist
  6. Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership
  7. Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants
  8. No chance of expanding EU warrant crime list