Vote on Use of Passenger Name Record data (EU PNR):
- extracts from the vote
- statement by Timothy R KIRKHOPE (ECR, UK), rapporteur
EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - European Parliament
End production: 24/04/2013 First transmission: 24/04/2013
A European Commission proposal to allow the use of EU air passenger name record (PNR) data in investigating serious crime and terrorist offences was rejected by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs Wednesday, by 30 votes to 25. Air carriers collect PNR data from passengers during reservation and check-in procedures for flights entering or leaving the EU. It includes the passenger’s name, address, phone number and credit card details. The Commission proposed in February 2011 to oblige air carriers to provide EU countries with the data of passengers entering or leaving the EU, for use in preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting serious crime and terrorist offences. After the committee vote, rapporteur Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK) and other MEPs expressed concern about its possible consequences for EU counter-terrorism policy. They also asked that the matter be referred to the full House. Other MEPs welcomed the vote and said that the Commission should come up with a new proposal. Civil Liberties Committee chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) proposed that the matter be put to Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (EP and political group presidents) in order to decide how to proceed.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Brussels.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Juan Fernando LÓPEZ-AGUILAR, Chair of the LIBE Committee opens the vote on EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) proposal.
||Shot during the vote on amendment 36 by Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens-EFA, DE).
||Digital result on screen: 55 MEPs voting, 30 votes for, 25 against. The amendment is carried and therefore the European Commission proposal on PNR is rejected by a majority of the LIBE Committee.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy R KIRKHOPE (ECR, UK), rapporteur: "We want to have proper control and proper security for our citizens in Europe and this rejection has put that back by years if not altogether. What we end up with now as I warned throughout this process, is not any 16 European countries doing their own thing in their own way without controls in place, but the potential of all the others doing the same and even more, incredibly different ways which do not brought together, protect anybody in Europe at all or those who chose to visit us".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sophie IN'T VELD (ALDE, NL), shadow rapporteur: "I do not think that you can say that simply by rejecting this proposal we are not committed to the fight against terrorism. You know full well that this proposal has been on the table in different shapes and forms for the last 7 years or so. It's been extremely controversial. I personally as a shadow have tried to convince the rapporteur to wait with the vote until after the adoption of the data protection directive, because I think that both things are connected".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sophie IN'T VELD (ALDE, NL), shadow rapporteur: "I'm pretty sure that the European Commission will come back with a new proposal, I hope they will take account of the concerns that have been voiced for many years in this Parliament, and that we ca then finally find agreement on a system that everybody can live with".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens-EFA, DE) shadow rapporteur: "Blanket retention and profiling measures are not in line with EU member states constitutional law and with the jurisprudence of many constitutional Courts and the European Court of Human rights in Strasbourg. This has been a political decision now; the proposal for the EU PNR done by the Commission is rejected. That doesn't mean that information exchange in Europe is not important. I think that we all agree that the better information exchange between police and justice authorities is more than important".
||Cutaways during the debate that followed the rejection of the proposal (6 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy R KIRKHOPE (ECR, UK), rapporteur: "In a PNR agreement what we are looking at is a fair mixture of receiving information from people who are travelling, but also making sure that their privacy is as far as possible protected, that we have all the protections necessary to citizens who yield up information about themselves. But also on a PNR agreement we are able to have an exchange, cooperation between different law enforcement authorities, to make sure that the information is only used for the purposes of catching terrorists and criminals. And that sort of balance is a difficult one, but we thought that we had it about it right".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy R KIRKHOPE (ECR, UK), rapporteur: "I made it very clear that currently we have about 16 PNR systems being introduced in different parts of Europe, all without any kind of general standards in place from a European perspective, and we needed to make sure that we do have these clear standards to all the systems, so they are most effective in catching criminals and dealing with terrorists but patently that did not impressed some of the political groups".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy R KIRKHOPE (ECR, UK), rapporteur: "My intention is to get a Plenary vote, so at the very least, wherever the decision in Plenary, it will then be done by all the members of the Parliament, many of whom have had direct experience with terrorism, direct experience of insecurity for their citizens and I think once we get into that form then I think we will get a more objective approach and a better outcome".