Prospects for the EU-U.S. Passenger Name Record Agreement in the European Parliament     Print
Wednesday, 30 June 2010

On June 30, 2010, The European Institute held a meeting with leading members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, key officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Congress, and select experts to discuss the prospects for the Passenger Name Record Agreement (PNR), which is currently under review by the European Parliament. Having already flexed its post-Lisbon Treaty muscle on SWIFT, the European Parliament is giving very careful consideration to PNR, out of concern that security requisites not trump the fundamental privacy, data protection and freedom of movement rights assured the European Union’s 500 million citizens. While participants were optimistic about prospects for continued transatlantic cooperation and mutual respect, several committee members expressed concern that U.S. policy still reflects a disproportionate response to the terrorist concerns of the last decade. While no final decision by the Parliament is expected until this fall at the earliest, participants agreed that sustained discussion is vital if both sides hope to reach a fair agreement that takes both civil security and core privacy considerations into account.