PRESS RELEASE: MEP In 't Veld (D66 / ALDE): Implementation of EU-US TFTP Agreement deficient

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22.03.2012 - MEP Sophie in 't Veld (D66 / ALDE) is dismayed that the implementation of the EU-US TFTP Agreement is still deficient. According to the second Europol JSB inspection report, "SWIFT has provided the US with all the data requested since the Agreement entered into force". In 't Veld urgently calls for a debate in the European Parliament with the presence of Europol and the European Commission. "Apparently Europol and the Commission do not find it necessary to adhere to the Agreement, and just consider the Agreement a license to continue sending unfiltered financial messaging data to the US", states In 't Veld.

Serious deficiencies

"The inspection report on the implementation of the Agreement confirms that contrary to the explicit purpose of the Agreement, data are sent to the US limitless. Besides, verification of data transfers still happens on the basis of oral information, while this practice was fiercely criticized by the European Parliament last year", says In 't Veld. Also, the European Commission has still not presented a proposal for the extraction of the data on European soil, a condition of the European Parliament for giving its consent to the EU-US TFTP Agreement. In 't Veld: "This agreement has been completely meaningless up till now. We still send the entire haystack of financial messaging data to the US. We might as well just give the US the passwords of our European databases."

Passenger data

Next week, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs votes on a similar agreement with the US on the transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR). Rapporteur Sophie in 't Veld recommends her colleagues to withhold consent and vote against the Agreement. "The EU-US PNR agreement provides citizens with even less legal protection than the EU-US TFTP agreement. It is worrying to see that the EPP Group is in favour of the transfer of PNR data without expressing any criticism, and also other political groups hesitate to reject the Agreement. The US have effectively blackmailed the EU Member States by affirming that if the European Parliament rejects the PNR agreement, European citizens might lose the possibility to travel without a visa to the US. Europe should not give in, but must show some backbone."

For more information:
Sophie in 't Veld +32-477623765
Sophie Bots +32-22837796

Background: See: Report from the Europol Joint Supervisory Body on the EU-USA Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme: Europol JSB inspects for the second year: the Implementation of the TFTP Agreement (pdf)

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