The European Parliament today voted in favour of a controversial deal that gives American counter-terrorism officials access to personal information about passengers on transatlantic flights.
MEPs approved the US-EU passenger name record (PNR) agreement in Strasbourg today (19 April) with 409 votes in favour, 226 against, and 33 abstentions.
The vote ends years of uncertainty following the rejection by MEPs of a previous version of the agreement, signed in 2007, which forced the European Commission to re-negotiate the deal. The re-negotiation, which concluded last year, strengthened the agreement’s privacy provisions.
Under the agreement, airlines are obliged to forward personal data, such as addresses and credit-card numbers, to the US Department for Homeland Security.
Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for home affairs, said: “The new agreement is a substantial improvement on the existing agreement from 2007, and I am pleased that the European Parliament has recognised this today.”
William Kennard, the US ambassador to the EU, also welcomed the endorsement. “Today’s vote reaffirms the shared commitment of the United States and the European Union to the security of the travelling public,” he said. “This PNR agreement will also provide legal certainty for airlines and assure travellers that their privacy will be respected.”
Click Here: cheap all stars rugby jersey
Sophie in’t Veld, a Dutch Liberal MEP who drafted the Parliament’s position on the agreement, had recommended that the deal be rejected. She was backed by most Liberal and Green MEPs and by some Socialists.