Parliamentary questions
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24 October 2012

Question for oral answer O-000175/2012

to the Commission

Rule 115

Sophia in 't Veld, Renate Weber, Sonia Alfano, Alexander Alvaro, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Gianni Vattimo, Cecilia Wikström, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Marielle de Sarnez

on behalf of the ALDE Group

  Subject:  Implementation of the EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme Agreement

The Joint Supervisory Board (JSB) of Europol concludes, in the statement on its report on the second inspection of Europol’s implementation of its tasks under the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) Agreement and the fulfilment of the JSB’s recommendations from last year’s inspection, that it cannot be established that Article 4 of the EU-US agreement is being implemented. The JSB observes that apparently there is no limitation in time, nor geographically. In other words, all data are being transferred. Does the Commission agree that this is a very alarming conclusion?

Does the Commission agree that, if the JSB’s observation is accurate, the implementation fails to meet one of the main objectives of the agreement, namely to end the bulk transfer of data?

Does the Commission consider that implementation of the EU-US agreement must fully comply with EU standards of transparency? Can the Commission clarify on what grounds access to the JSB’s full report is being denied, despite the fact that the JSB does not object to its publication?

Is the Commission aware of existing case-law, notably In ‘t Veld vs Council (T-529/09), which states that there is no automatic and general exemption from the transparency rules for documents relating to international affairs? Does the Commission acknowledge that no meaningful democratic scrutiny can take place without access to all relevant information?

Does the Commission agree that citizens’ fundamental rights are at stake, and therefore they have a right to know whether the EU-US agreement is being fully and correctly implemented?

Can the Commission state whether data are indeed being used as described in Article 5 of the agreement? Was the Commission aware of the difference between data mining and social network analysis when it was negotiating the agreement with the US? If not, why not, and if so, why did it not inform Parliament and the Council?

Can the Commission clarify when it intends to set up the system for the extraction of data on European soil, which was an important condition for the consent of the European Parliament?

Tabled: 24.10.2012

Forwarded: 26.10.2012

Deadline for reply: 2.11.2012

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