Procedure : 2013/2682(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0337/2013

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 03/07/2013 - 14
CRE 03/07/2013 - 14

Votes :

PV 04/07/2013 - 13.3
CRE 04/07/2013 - 13.3
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0336/2013

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the US National Security Agency surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ privacy (2013/2682(RSP))

Axel Voss, Manfred Weber, Véronique Mathieu Houillon on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the US National Security Agency surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ privacy (2013/2682(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to Articles 2 and 6 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights,

–   having regard to the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance between the European Union and the United States of America(1),

–   having regard to the EU-US Safe Harbour Agreement (2000/520/EC), in particular Article 3 thereof, and to the list of participants in the agreement,

–   having regard to the USA’s Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the subsequent amendment acts thereto,

–   having regard to the ongoing negotiation for an EU-US framework agreement on protection of personal data when transferred and processed for police and judicial cooperation purposes,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas reports in the international press in June 2013 revealed evidence that, through programmes such as PRISM, the US authorities are accessing and processing the personal data of EU citizens on a large scale when they use US online service providers;

B.  whereas Commissioner Reding has written a letter to the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, raising European concerns and asking for clarifications and explanations on the PRISM programme and other such programmes which involve data collection and search, and on the laws under which such programmes may be authorised;

C. whereas a full response from the US authorities is still pending, despite the discussions that took place at the EU-US Justice Ministerial meeting in Dublin on 14 June 2013;

D. whereas the transatlantic partnership between the EU and the US is based on respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law, and on loyal and equal cooperation;

E.  whereas under the Safe Harbour Agreement, the Member States and the Commission are entrusted with the duty of guaranteeing the security and integrity of personal data;

F.  whereas the companies involved in the PRISM case, as reported in the international press, are all parties to the Safe Harbour Agreement;

G. whereas the EU-US Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance, as ratified by the Union and the Congress, stipulates modalities for gathering and exchanging information, and requesting and providing assistance in obtaining evidence located in one country to assist in criminal investigations or proceedings in another;

H. whereas on 14 June 2013 Commissioner Malmström announced the setting-up of a transatlantic group of experts;

I.   whereas the international press has also reported the alleged cooperation and involvement of EU Member States in the PRISM programme and other such programmes or their gaining access to the databases created;

J.   whereas several Member States have surveillance programmes of a similar nature to PRISM or are discussing the setting-up of such programmes;

K. whereas data protection reform is under way at EU level, through the revision of the Directive 95/46/EC;

L.  whereas the Member States are obliged to respect the fundamental values enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

1.  Underlines its firm commitment to the joint transatlantic efforts to fight terrorism and serious and organised crime;

2.  Also regards close transatlantic cooperation in the field of data sharing as an essential element of such efforts;

3.  Likewise underlines, however, its strong commitment to EU citizens’ right to privacy, respect for the rule of law, strong protection of EU citizens’ personal data, the functioning of a free and safe internet, and legal certainty for EU citizens;

4.  Expresses serious concern, therefore, over the PRISM programme and other such programmes, which, should the information available to date be confirmed, could constitute a serious violation of EU citizens’ fundamental right to privacy and data protection;

5.  Calls on the US authorities, without undue delay, to provide the EU with full information on the PRISM programme and other such programmes involving data collection, as requested by Commissioner Reding in her letter of 10 June 2013 to Attorney General Eric Holder;

6.  Calls on the US authorities to verify the legality of the PRISM programme and other such programmes involving data collection and to prove that they are at least in line with US law and transatlantic agreements;

7.  Demands that the transatlantic expert group, as announced by Commissioner Malmström and in which Parliament will participate, be granted an appropriate level of security clearance and access to all relevant documents, in order to be able to conduct its work properly and within a set deadline; further demands that Parliament be adequately represented in this expert group;

8.  Calls on the Commission and the US authorities to resume without delay the negotiations on the framework agreement on protection of personal data when transferred and processed for police and judicial cooperation purposes;

9.  Calls on the Commission, during these negotiations, to make sure that the agreement meets at least the following criteria:

(a) giving EU citizens the right to information when their data is processed in the US;

(b) ensuring that EU citizens’ access to the US judicial system is equal to that enjoyed by US citizens;

(c) granting the right to redress in particular;

10. Calls on the Commission to conduct a full review of the Safe Harbour Agreement in the light of the recent information, under Article 3 of the Agreement;

11. Expresses serious concern at the revelations relating to the alleged surveillance programmes run by Member States, either with the help of the US National Security Agency or unilaterally;

12. Stresses that all companies providing services in the EU must comply with EU law without exception and are liable for any breaches;

13. Stresses that companies operating under third-country jurisdiction should provide users located in the EU with a clear and distinguishable warning concerning the possibility of personal data being processed by law enforcement and intelligence following secret orders or injunctions;

14. Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to follow up this issue in an appropriate way;

15. Resolves to reflect on the creation of a competent body within Parliament to engage and deal with the intelligence community and related matters to the extent that this is covered by its competences or as an outflow from other competences;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Council of Europe and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


OJ L 181, 19.7.2003, p. 34.

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