The European Commission dribbles the Parliament again in the PNR deal

By EDRi · June 21, 2006

The European Commission is moving ahead in its efforts to comply with the
annulment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of the agreement between
the European Community and the US Government on the transfer of passenger
name records (PNR).

The Commission adopted on 19 June 2006 two initiatives in order to comply
with the ECJ decision. The first initiative is to recommend to the Council
to terminate the Agreement with the US by the end of this month, since under
the international law, the agreement remains in force for a period of 90
days after it is denounced by either party.

The second initiative is to ask the Council to give an authorisation to open
negotiations for a new Agreement with the Unites States on the basis of Article
38, Title VI of the Treaty on European Union. The Commission considers that
Title VI (3rd Pillar) is the correct legal basis for an International
Agreement for matters dealing with public security and criminal law matters.
It also emphasises that “the content of the current Agreement has not been
criticised by the Court and should therefore continue to offer the same
level of safeguards regarding the legal certainty for air carriers, the
respect of human rights and the purposes for which PNR data may be used.”

In practice, this will mean a defeat of the European Parliament, which
challenged before the ECJ the substance of the agreement as well. According
to a Commission spokesman regarding the new proposed agreement: “There is no
formal role for the Parliament to play.”

Supporting the Parliament’s position, Peter Hustinx, the European Data
Protection Supervisor considered that “the judgment seems to have created a
loophole in the protection of European citizens whereby their data are used
for law enforcement purposes.”

The Commission hopes the member states will accept a new deal to be set
up by the beginning of July and that they will not conclude in separate
deals with the United States.

The Commission adopts two initiatives to comply with the Ruling of the
European Court of Justice on the transfer of PNR to the United States of
America (19.06.2006)

MEPs to be sidelined in revived airline data deal (19.06.2006)

PNR: EDPS first reaction to the Court of Justice judgment (30.05.2006)

EDRI-gram : EU-US agreement on passenger data transfer annulled (7.06.2006)

Letters sent by President Borrell of the European Parliament on the
consequences of the Court case of 30 May on passenger name records (09.06.2006)