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Passenger Name Records: rejection vote is a major setback for European security. Véronique Mathieu MEP and Axel Voss MEP

Date

25 Apr 2013

Sections

Health & Consumers
Security

Today, the Left wing of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee managed to secure the necessary majority to reject the use of EU air passenger name records (PNR) data in the investigations of serious crimes and terrorist offences. This rejection is extremely dangerous and a setback in the fight against terrorism, serious crime and security", said EPP Group Coordinator in the committee, Véronique Mathieu MEP.

"We are deeply shocked by this sudden rejection. It is indeed serious and worrying. PNR systems have proved their worth in foiling terrorist attacks and tracking down serious criminals in many countries. PNR systems are being successfully used in the USA, Australia, Canada and in Great Britain. Why should we deprive our European citizens from the same form of protection? Why should Europe stay one step behind on security issues?"

"The Socialists and Liberals think that they are protecting citizens’ personal data. But in fact they are doing just the contrary! Without common European rules, Member States will continue to work with a patchwork of different PNR databases without any guarantees and safeguards for European citizens."

The Shadow Rapporteur, Axel Voss MEP, said:

"With this vote, the MEPs who voted against have done a disservice to those who are interested in strong data protection and security. This goes against any sense of reason. We hope that sense prevails when the whole Parliament votes on the matter."

Quite naturally, air carriers collect passenger names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card details during the booking and check-in procedures for flights entering and leaving the EU. The EPP Group agrees with the European Commission that air carriers should be legally bound to provide this data to EU governments for the use of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting serious crimes and terrorist offences.

This matter will now be put to a plenary vote.

 

For further info:

Véronique Mathieu MEP, tel.: +32-2-284-5220

Axel Voss MEP, tel.: +32-2-284-5302

David Stellini, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel.: +32-473 541926

Thomas Bickl, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel.: +32-478-215372

Marion Jeanne, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel.: +32-479-840293

 

Note to Editors

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 269 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

 

 

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