Air-Passenger Terrorism Law May Be Revived by EU Parliament
Published on Jan 13 2015 1:55 PM in General Industry
The European Parliament may revive draft legislation that would force airlines to give national governments in Europe information on passengers, highlighting renewed terrorism concerns after the attacks in Paris.
Timothy Kirkhope, a UK member steering the stalled measures through the European Union assembly, vowed to propose beefed-up provisions on data protection in a bid to win over skeptical lawmakers. The EU Parliament’s civil-liberties committee rejected the draft law in April 2013.
The legislation, proposed by European regulators in 2011, would require EU and foreign carriers to provide national authorities with data about passengers on flights to and from the bloc; the proposal covers the "passenger name record" including seat number, reservation date, payment method and travel itinerary.
"Europe’s patchwork use of PNR creates weak points that terrorists can exploit," Kirkhope said in a statement today at the 28-nation Parliament’s headquarters in Strasbourg, France. "I want an agreement that safeguards lives and liberties by offering stronger data-protection rules while also making it much harder for a radicalized fighter to slip back into Europe undetected."
The Paris attacks, in which three gunmen with Jihadist links killed 17 people last week, have prompted calls for the EU to bolster its regulatory defenses against terrorism. Reports that one of the killers may have received military training in Yemen and that an accomplice traveled from France to Syria days before the attacks have put the spotlight on the draft PNR legislation.
The proposed Europe-wide program would resemble a US system established after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. The EU measures stalled because of opposition by Socialist, Liberal and Green members of the EU Parliament.
Bloomberg News edited by HI