Thursday, 1 April 2004
Parliament rejects mandate for airlines to give European governments access to reservations
Applying the same standard to mandatory handovers of airline passenger data to European Union governments that it had applied a day earlier in its vote rejecting mandatory access to PNR data by the USA government, the European Parliament today voted to reject a Spanish proposal that would require airlines operaitng within the EU to provide "Advance Passenger Information" to the government of the destination country when each flight departs.
The Spanish proposal was ostensibly intended as a measure to reduce illegal immigration, but the Europarl resolution rejecting found that, "It is doubtful whether the proposal in its present form can make a useful contribution to reducing illegal immigration."
The proposal rejected by European Parliament had earlier this week been approved by the Council of Ministers of EU members, leading to some erroneous reports that the EP had applied a double standard to intra-European and EU-USA flights and government demands for passenger data. In fact, the EP took a consistent view in rejecting both, sending a clear signal to Spain, to the USA, and to ICAO (where Spain and the USA were the sponsors of two proposals to extend worldwide the PNR and API standards and mandates they had previously proposed for the EU).
As with the proposed "agreement" with the USA, the status of the Spanish proposal for intra-European flights remains complicated and uncertain following today's Europarl vote.
But whatever happens next, it's clear that European legislators have given in neither to panic at the risk of terrorism and illegal immigration, nor to intense lobbying by the USA, and have remained unwilling to sell out their consituents' freedom.Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 1 April 2004, 21:53 ( 9:53 PM)