U.S. Seems Set, Finally, to Get Access to EU Financial Data Against Terrorism

The European Parliament seems set to approve the so-called “Swift Pact” this week in a second vote. The Parliament had rejected an initial deal between Washington and the European Commission on U.S. access to financial transactions – ostensibly on grounds that it violated privacy rights but also, as parliamentarians avow, because the parliament wanted to assert its new authority gained in the Lisbon Treaty.

Now, after some changes in the Commission’s terms with Washington, the pact seems set to go through. Passage will activate provisions for the U.S. Treasury to get access to data about financial transfers (often via the system known as SWIFT) for the purpose of identifying terrorists’ financial activities. In February, the Parliament rejected the initial SWIFT pact on grounds that it did not include enough measures for privacy protection.


Polish Presidential Outcome Produces Warsaw Team Bent on Better EU Ties

The prospect of more cooperative relations between Poland and the rest of the EU is a widely-noted highlight of the election of the country’s new president, Bronislaw Komorowski.

His victory creates a tandem at the top of Poland’s leadership since he and Prime Minister Donald Tusk are political allies. Both are leaders of the Civic Platform, a party that stands for center-right free-market economics and warmer relations with its EU partners, particularly neighboring Germany.

Often at odds with the previous president, Tusk shares much with Komorowski: “They are pragmatists rather than ideologues, reserved not blustering, and open to the world,’’ commented Spiegel, the magazine in Germany, which welcomes the outcome. Komorowski, 58, was an anti-communist dissident, imprisoned in the crackdown on Solidarity and subsequently a prominent member of parliament.