The House adopted a resolution with 464 votes in favour, 158 against and 70 abstentions on the restrictions imposed by the EU on liquids that passengers can take on board aeroplanes. MEPs call upon the Commission to review urgently and – if no further conclusive facts are brought forward – to repeal Regulation (EC) No 1546/2006 (introduction of liquids onto aircraft). The particular amendment on the possible repeal was adopted with 382 votes in favour, 298 against and 15 abstentions.
In the resolution, MEPs express their concern that the costs engendered by the regulation may not be proportionate to the added value achieved by additional security provisions.
The European Parliament supports all security measures against terrorist risks in aviation. The need for high-quality security is unquestionable. However, security measures need to be "realistically" designed to minimise the risk and may not be "disproportionate".
With regard to the liquids regulation, MEPs argue that it causes increased costs to airports and operators as well as to passengers resulting from the confiscation of private property. MEPs also recognise the "substantial inconvenience and disruption" caused to passengers, especially transit passengers.
Better public information
The House also calls upon the Commission to act, as provided for by Article 232 of the EC Treaty, by publishing and making available to citizens the verbatim text of the prohibitions and restrictions which can be applied to them, as well as the list of exceptions to the same and the reasons for the measure.
During the debate in Strasbourg in February, David MARTIN (PES, UK, Labour, Scotland) said: "I have been slightly surprised at the ferocity of the attacks by some of my colleagues on this system. It is clear that there is a serious and more subtle threat to airport security than we have ever faced and that the screening of hand baggage needs to be made as easy as possible. As the Commissioner rightly said, liquid explosives can be disguised as very innocuous substances, and a patchwork of 27 separate regulations would have been unacceptable. I therefore support the initiative he took in introducing these measures but, as he rightly says, these measures can be improved and need to be examined in the light of experience."