FRANCE-EU: Valls to Pittella: if Parliament doesn't agree on PNR, Member States will do it themselves

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French prime minister Manuel Valls has written to Gianni Pittella, chair of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, demanding the adoption of the EU Passenger Name Record Directive on air travel surveillance by the end of the year: "And in truth, if we cannot [agree the PNR Directive], there can be no justification in the view of our public opinions. I therefore fear that certain Member States will have no alternative but to use intergovernmental channels. This is not what I want because I have faith in the Community method, but you will agree that protecting citizens must take precedence over these concerns."

Earlier in the letter, he sets out what he (and the Council as a whole) are demanding the Parliament agree to:

" is of the utmost importance that the EU PNR system is fully operational and effective. To this end, we must ensure, in particular, the following main points: the obligatory inclusion of inter-European flights, which will help further foil the terrorists' strategies to avoid detection; a period of one year before data is masked, and four years before it is destroyed; and the inclusion in the record of serious national offences (not just transnational offences). These measures are supported by all Member States, who all face the same issues, as it was clearly outlined in the conclusions adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 20 November 20 15. If we do not include these points in the text, this tool will be devoid of its effective scope, which will weaken our collective ability to prevent further terrorist attacks."

See the: Letter from Manuel Valls to Gianni Pittella (pdf) and recent news on the PNR Directive negotiations: Mass surveillance legislation creeps closer: leaked compromise text


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