European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision on the exchange of information and cooperation concerning terrorist offences (15599/2004 – C6-0007/2004 – 2004/0069(CNS))
– having regard to Article 34(2)(c) of the Treaty on European Union,
– having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0007/2004),
– having regard to Rules 93 and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0160/2005),
1. Approves the Council text as amended;
2. Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;
3. Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;
4. Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend substantially the text submitted for consultation;
5. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.
Text proposed by the Council
Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1 Recital 3 a (new)
(3a) It is necessary to establish a high degree of confidence between law enforcement authorities of the Member States and with Europol and Eurojust, a lack of which has so far hindered an efficient exchange of information, inter alia by: - establishing common standards for data protection in the third pillar under the authority of an independent joint supervisory body; - providing police forces with a handbook of good practices that sets out in a simple and practical manner their data protection responsibilities and duties; - establishing minimum standards for criminal and procedural law; - giving the Court of Justice general jurisdiction in the third pillar; - ensuring full parliamentary scrutiny.
Amendment 2 Recital 5
(5) The objectives of the proposed action cannot be satisfactorily attained by the Member States acting alone and can therefore, given the need for reciprocity, be better attained by the Union, which may accordingly act in accordance with the subsidiarity principle. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, this Framework Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to attain those objectives.
(5) The objectives of the proposed action cannot be satisfactorily attained by the Member States acting alone and can therefore, given the need for reciprocity, be better attained by closer cooperation between Member States and by
the Union, which may accordingly act in accordance with the subsidiarity principle. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, this Framework Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to attain those objectives.
Amendment 3 Recital 5 b (new)
(5b) This Decision applies mutatis mutandis the same level of data protection as provided for under the first pillar by Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and sets up a joint personal data protection supervisory authority under the third pillar which should carry out its tasks completely independently and which, taking that specific role into account, should advise the European institutions and contribute, in particular, to the uniform application of the national rules adopted pursuant to this Decision. _______________________________ OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31.
Amendment 4 Recital 5 c (new)
(5c) Member States are determined to take further steps towards the rapid ratification of all international conventions and protocols relevant to the fight against terrorism, including the protocols amending the Europol Convention, and are committed to further promote the process of universal ratification by third countries of the relevant international instruments related to the fight against terrorism and the provision by those countries of aid and technical assistance in their implementation.
Amendment 5 Article 1 a, heading (new)
Exchange of information concerning terrorist offences between police services or other law enforcement authorities
Amendment 6 Article 1 a, paragraph 1 (new)
1.Each Member State shall ensure that any relevant information held by its police services or other law enforcement authorities in connection with terrorist offences or which is accessible to them without the use of coercive means can be provided to the police services or other competent law enforcement authorities of other Member States in accordance with this Decision.
Amendment 7 Article 1 a, paragraph 2 (new)
2.Each Member State shall ensure that conditions not stricter than those applicable at national level for providing and requesting information are applied for providing information to the police services or other competent law enforcement authorities of other Member States.
Amendment 8 Article 1 a, paragraph 3 (new)
3.The information shall be provided on request by a police service or other competent law enforcement authority, in accordance with national law, within the framework of an investigation into terrorist offences.
Amendment 9 Article 2, heading
of information concerning terrorist offences
of information concerning terrorist offences to Europol and Eurojust
Amendment 12 Article 2, paragraph 4, point (da) (new)
(da) information about convictions for terrorist offences and the specific circumstances surrounding those offences; if convictions at first instance are overturned on appeal, the requested Member State shall provide the modified information to the requesting Member State without delay;
Amendment 13 Article 2, paragraph 4, point (db) (new)
(db) the sentences handed down and relevant information about their execution;
Amendment 14 Article 2, paragraph 4, point (dc) (new)
(dc) disqualifications incurred as a result of the conviction;
Amendment 15 Article 2, paragraph 4, point (dd) (new)
(dd) previous criminal record;
Amendment 16 Article 2, paragraph 4 a, point (c)
(c) information about final
convictions for terrorist offences and the specific circumstances surrounding these offences;
(c) information about convictions for terrorist offences and the specific circumstances surrounding these offences; if convictions at first instance are overturned on appeal, the requested Member State shall provide the modified information to the requesting Member State without delay;
Amendment 17 Article 2, paragraph 4 a, point (ca) (new)
(ca) the sentences handed down and relevant information about their execution;
Amendment 18 Article 2, paragraph 4 a, point (cb) (new)
(cb) disqualifications incurred as a result of the conviction;
Amendment 19 Article 2, paragraph 4 a, point (cc) (new)
(cc) previous criminal record;
Amendment 20 Article 2 a (new)
Review and deletion of information concerning terrorist offences
1.Europol and Eurojust shall carry out a review every three years to determine whether the information provided pursuant to Article 2 is up to date.
2.Europol and Eurojust shall delete information provided pursuant to Article 2 after three years, provided that the information in question does not relate to ongoing investigations.
3.In exceptional cases, the time-limit laid down in paragraph 2 may be extended. Europol and Eurojust shall ensure that they have established an appropriate procedure to consider such exceptional cases.
Amendment 21 Article 3 a (new)
Competence of the Court of Justice
Each Member State shall accept the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Communities to give preliminary rulings on the validity and interpretation of this Decision in accordance with Article 35(2) of the Treaty on European Union.
Amendment 22 Article 4
Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that requests from other Member States for mutual legal assistance and recognition and enforcement of judgements in connection with terrorist offences are dealt with as a matter of urgency and shall be given priority.
Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that any relevant information contained in a document, file, item of information, object or any other item of evidence which has been seized or confiscated during criminal investigations or criminal proceedings in connection with terrorist offences is made immediately accessible or immediately forwarded to the authorities of other Member States concerned, in accordance with national law and the relevant international legal instruments, if the information in question is regarded as essential to the opening of an investigation in those Member States or if investigations or prosecutions in connection with terrorist offences are in progress in those countries. (Article 2(5) hereby falls)
Amendment 23 Article 4, paragraph 1 a (new)
If information cannot be provided immediately, the competent authority shall indicate immediately the timeframe within which it can be provided, which must not exceed 12 hours or, in the case of information which requires formalities or prior contacts with other authorities, 48 hours if the matter is urgent and otherwise 10 working days.
Amendment 24 Article 4, paragraph 1 b (new)
The time-limits laid down in paragraph 1a shall run from the time when the competent authority of the requested Member State receives the request for information.
Amendment 25 Article 4 a (new)
Article 4 a
Spontaneous exchange of information
Without prejudice to the application of Articles 2 and 3, the police services or other competent law enforcement authorities shall, without being so requested, provide information to the police services or other competent law enforcement authorities of other Member States concerned if there are serious factual reasons to believe that the information in question could assist in the prevention, investigation or detection of offences or criminal activities which are linked to a terrorist offence.
The provision of information pursuant to paragraph 1 shall be limited to what is deemed relevant and necessary for the successful prevention, investigation or detection of the offence or criminal activity in question.
The police services or other competent law enforcement authorities in question shall be informed of the clearly substantiated serious factual reasons for initiating the spontaneous exchange of information pursuant to paragraph 1.
Amendment 26 Article 4 b (new)
Withholding of information
The police services or the competent law enforcement authorities may refuse to provide information only if they show that there are serious factual reasons to assume that:
(a) the provision of the information would harm essential national security interests of the requested Member State;
(b) the provision of the information might jeopardise the success of a current investigation;
(c) the requested information is clearly disproportionate or irrelevant with regard to the purposes for which it has been requested.
Amendment 27 Article 4 c (new)
Principles governing the collection and processing of data
1.Information, including personal data, exchanged or provided pursuant to this Decision must:
(a) be accurate, appropriate and relevant to the purposes for which it is collected and subsequently processed;
(b) be collected and processed for the exclusive purpose of carrying out legal tasks.
Data relating to aspects of private life and data relating to individuals not under suspicion may only be collected in cases of absolute necessity and subject to compliance with strict conditions.
2.The integrity and confidentiality of data provided pursuant to this Decision shall be guaranteed at all stages of their exchange and processing.
Information sources shall be protected.
Amendment 28 Article 4 d (new)
Right of access to data of the person concerned
The person concerned by the data collected must:
(a) be informed of the existence of the data relating to them, except where there is a major obstacle thereto;
(b) have a cost-free right of access to the data concerning them and the right to rectify inaccurate data, except where such access is likely to be prejudicial to public security or public order or to the rights and freedoms of third parties, or to hamper inquiries that are under way;
(c) where there is misuse of the data having regard to this Article, have a right to object cost-free with a view to redressing the legal situation and, where applicable, to obtaining compensation if the principles set out in this Article have not been adhered to.
Amendment 29 Article 4 e (new)
Joint personal data protection supervisory authority
1.A joint personal data protection supervisory authority shall be set up, hereinafter referred to as the "authority".
The authority shall be advisory in nature and independent.
2.The authority shall be made up of a representative of the supervisory authority or authorities designated by each Member State, a representative of the authority or authorities set up by the institutions, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Community bodies and a representative of the Commission.
Each member of the authority shall be designated by the institution, authority or authorities her or she represents. Where a Member State has designated more than one supervisory authority, the latter shall appoint a joint representative. The same procedure shall apply for the authorities set up for the Community institutions and bodies.
3.The authority shall reach its decisions by a simple majority of the representatives of the supervisory authorities.
4.The authority shall elect its chairman. The chairman's term of office shall be two years. This term of office shall be renewable.
5.The authority shall be assisted by the Secretariat for the joint supervisory data-protection bodies set up by Council Decision 2000/641/JHA of 17 October 2000 The Secretariat shall be transferred to the Commission as soon as possible. ___________________________ OJ L 271, 24.10.2000, p. 1.
Amendment 30 Article 4 f (new)
Remit of the joint personal data protection supervisory authority
1.The remit of the authority shall be:
(a) to examine any matter relating to the implementation of the national provisions adopted in application of this Decision;
(b) to deliver to the Commission an opinion on the level of protection in the European Union;
(c) to advise on any proposed change to this Decision, any proposal for additional or specific measures to safeguard the rights and freedoms of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data, and any other proposal for European legislation with implications for these rights and freedoms;
(d) to deliver an opinion on codes of conduct drawn up at European level.
2.If the authority ascertains the existence of disparities between the laws and practices of the Member States likely to prejudice the equivalence of protection of persons in respect of personal data processing in the European Union, it shall inform the Commission.
3.The authority may issue recommendations on its own initiative on any matter relating to protection of persons in respect of the processing of personal data under the third pillar.
4.The opinions and recommendations of the authority shall be forwarded to the Commission.
5.In connection with the performance of its tasks, the authority shall have a power of investigation and an effective power of intervention which enable it, where appropriate, to take any measure required to correct, to temporarily or definitively ban the processing of or to delete any item of information collected if the manner in which that item was collected constitutes a breach of Articles 9a and 9b.
6.Any person may submit to the authority a request concerning the protection of his or her rights and freedoms as regards the processing of personal data.
The person concerned shall be informed of the action taken on his or her request.
7.The Commission shall inform the authority of the action it has taken on its opinions and recommendations. With that aim in view, it shall draw up a report which shall also be forwarded to the European Parliament and to the Council. The report shall be published.
8.The authority shall draw up an annual report on the state of protection of natural persons as regards the processing of personal data under the third pillar and shall forward that report to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the Commission. The report shall be published.
Amendment 31 Article 4g (new)
Article 4g Reports by Europol and Eurojust Europol and Eurojust shall submit an annual report to the European Parliament and the Council.