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Sophie in‘t Veld, EP rapporteur on the PNR agreement between the EU and Canada says there may be wide-ranging consequences following the EU Court of Justice’s landmark ruling.

Sophie in‘t Veld (ALDE, NL) sharply criticised the European Commission and Member States for clinging to “a flawed deal“ and said the ruling by the court could impact other agreements between the EU and third countries.

 

Her comment comes after the European Court rejected the agreement between Canada and the EU to swap passenger names, travel dates, itineraries and contact details for security purposes.

 

The European Court of Justice found that this was contrary to EU law and violated privacy and data protection rules.

 

Sophie in‘t Veld MEP, Parliament´s rapporteur on the legislation said:  

 

“Two and a half years after the European Parliament raised serious concerns, the Court has made it crystal clear that the EU-Canada agreement cannot be adopted in its current form. The agreement provides insufficient protection and safeguards for Europeans. The use of personal data is not rejected as such, but sensitive data relating to, for example, religious beliefs, cannot be collected without suspicion. Additionally, the data cannot be accessed without judicial authorisation and has to be deleted after the passenger has left Canadian territory.”

 

"The European Commission and national governments have stubbornly continued to hold on to a flawed agreement, which is deeply regrettable. The European Commission must now go back to the negotiating table."

 

"Today´s ruling may have far-reaching consequences. The EU PNR Directive and similar arrangements with the United States on PNR and bank data sharing (SWIFT) could face challenges. Liberals and Democrats have long criticised legislation that allows for authorities to sift through bulk information without due cause and judicial authorisation. Today's ruling shows that anti-terror laws are all too often made in haste, but are then unable to pass judicial review. Privacy rules and fighting terrorism do not have to contradict one another, but laws must be made with due observance of European standards and values."

 

The European Union and Canada negotiated the deal in 2014m but the European Parliamentm which debated the issue fiercely - asked for the ECJ's views on the agreement.