30 November 2015
According to Politico, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU are close to an agreement on the Passenger Name Record Directive, which would require the mass surveillance of air travel as a first step towards the surveillance of all mass transport.
The website reports:
"Fear of easy transit for terrorists appears to have galvanized political leaders to finish legislation to track airline passengers within the European Union and abroad.
The next round of three-way negotiations between European Parliament, Council and Commission starts Wednesday, with the final scheduled meeting on the 15th and a goal for a year-end pact.
Some camps are far apart on a few key issues, including geographic scope and the length of data storage, but the Paris attacks apparently have made some politicians ready to deal."
The article cites Timothy Kirkhope MEP, the rapporteur for the PNR Directive:
"“I’ve got the best compromises I can think of here,” Kirkhope said in an interview. “There’s been movement from the Commission and Council and I’m just waiting for reaction on the new proposals, which bring together all the various things we’ve been doing. On balance we’re getting very, very close. My own feeling is this is now just about ready to roll.”
See: Deal close on EU passenger name records (Politico, link)
Statewatch has obtained Kirkhope's proposals for the text, which have been discussed recently with his shadow rapporteurs. See: EU-PNR Directive, Kirkhope proposals (pdf).
And: the most recent compromise text "negotiated between the Presidency and the rapporteur Kirkhope". Five key issues remain: the definition of serious crime; the inclusion of intra-EU flights; data retention provisions; data protection; and the inclusion of non-carrier economic operators (e.g. tour companies). See: Presidency, Presentation of compromise text, 14740/15, 30 November 2015
Observations: the "compromise text" is far below the standards of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU (notably in the cases Digital Ireland and Schrems). Moreover the legal basis is not, it can be aruged, the correct one and the systematic controls on intra-EU flights infringe the right to free movement as defined in the Treaties and the Charter.
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