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Following the Justice and Home Affairs Council confirmation of the deal on the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive, the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee lead negotiator, Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), said:

"I am very pleased that the Council has accepted the proposal I put forward earlier this week [see press release from 2 December].

We cannot wait any longer to put this system in place. This is a good agreement that will deliver an effective tool for fighting terrorism and serious crime.

This has always been a careful balancing act to ensure the system was proportionate to the risk that we face.

I will now recommend that the Civil Liberties Committee accepts this deal without delay.

PNR data is looking for patterns of behaviour, not profiling people's background or seeking to extract sensitive information. Its usefulness is not restricted to detecting terrorists and foreign fighters; it has been crucial in the detection of people and drug trafficking, and other serious criminals.

The choice is not between an EU PNR system and no EU PNR system; it is between an EU PNR system and 28 national PNR systems that will have vastly differing, or absent, standards for protecting passenger data."

Next steps

The Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee is expected to vote on the deal on 10 December. The draft directive will then be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole in early 2016 and formally approved by the EU Council of Ministers.

Member states will have to transpose the EU PNR directive into their national laws at the latest two years after its entry into force.

The UK and Ireland have opted in to this directive, while Denmark has a "blanket" opt-out for justice and home affairs legislation.