Civil Liberties Committee preliminary vote on EU profiling of airline passengers

By EDRi · December 9, 2015

The European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) will vote on Thursday 10 December to adopt the informal text agreed on the EU Directive on the use of of Passenger Name Records (EU PNR Directive). A second committee vote, followed by a vote of the European Parliament’s plenary are expected in 2016.

The Committee previously rejected the proposal, as the proportionality, necessity and effectiveness of the measure have never been demonstrated. The agreement was rushed through the negotiation procedure of the EU institutions after the Paris attacks.

Now, more than ever, we need to defend our fundamental rights. Adopting a measure that undermines the right to non-discrimination, freedom of movement and privacy is the worst possible message at the worst possible time.

said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights.

EDRi has stated repeateadly, supporting the analysis of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the Article 29 Working Party, the European Parliament Research Service (EPRS) and the Meijers Committee that the proposal does not respect the criteria of “necessity and proportionality” for a restriction of the fundamental right to privacy. The alleged benefits of the proposal have never been demonstrated, and the argument that it will help to prevent terrorism is not based on credible evidence.

The main problems of the EU PNR Directive are:

  • The ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidating the Data Retention Directive casts doubt on the legality of the proposal
  • The excessive data retention period
  • The lack of evidence showing that these measures are effective
  • The lack of evidence that the expected benefits are proportionate to the restrictions on citizens’ freedoms
  • Excessive costs

The EU PNR Directive was first proposed in 2011 and rejected in LIBE Committee in 2013. After the Copenhagen and Paris attacks in 2015, a fast-track procedure was launched to adopt the proposal. The final text on the EU PNR Directive will be voted in the Plenary of the European Parliament early in 2016.


Read more:


EU PNR document pool (27.07.2015)

Infographic: Data Retention Directive and PNR

EU PNR: Unproven, ineffective strategies are not security (14.07.2015)