Monday

18th Dec 2017

EU keen to revive passenger data bill after Brussels terrorist attack

  • The European Commission says a data exchange agreement with police could help prevent terrorist attacks (Photo: angeloangelo)

A bill designed to allow police access to EU airline passenger details would help prevent future attacks by suspected terrorists inside Europe, says the European Commission.

EU home affairs spokesperson Michele Cercone on Monday (2 June) told reporters in Brussels the 2011 EU passenger records name (PNR) proposal – which has been stalled due to opposition from the European Parliament – “could facilitate the endeavours of the member states” to fight what he said was a growing internal security threat.

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.

The proposal would oblige airlines flying to and from the EU to hand over the personal details of the passengers onboard.

The renewed interest in the bill follows the arrest of a 29-year old Frenchman linked to last month’s fatal shootings at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

The suspect is said to have spent time last year in Syria fighting alongside radical Islamist rebels, sparking fears other Syria-bound European nationals may pose a threat when they return home.

EU ministers are set to discuss the issue of EU citizens fighting in Syria in the margins of a justice and home affairs meeting in Luxembourg later this week.

To help dispel the threats, the commission wants to turn its proposed PNR directive into law but is facing opposition from MEPs.

The commission says the directive is needed to protect European citizens against security threats, such as terrorism or serious crime.

MEPs sitting on the parliament’s civil liberties committee disagree.

Last year they rejected the bill on privacy grounds, although the EU had already agreed to similar deals with the US, Canada, and Australia.

But the EU has other options.

Among them, noted Cercone, is the reinforced Schengen information system.

The system alerts border guards, police, customs officials, visa and judicial authorities throughout the border-free Schengen area of anyone not supposed to be in the EU or suspected of having committed a crime.

“It is clear that all efforts at the present stage have to converge towards the exchange of information among member states and it is there that attention will be focused,” he said.

However, the Schengen information system has been criticised in several quarters for being too costly. The European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx has described another so-called entry/exit system (EES) as “unproven and intrusive”.

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Far-right enters government in Austria
  2. UK should work more closely with MEPs on Brexit
  3. EU set to probe Ikea tax affairs
  4. Estonia's last chance to land green energy results
  5. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  6. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  7. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  8. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June