Sunday, 2 May 2004
Europarl want legal opinion on airline data transfers. USA wants another vote.
At its plenary session on Wednesday, 21 April 2004, the European Parliament voted 276 to 260, with 13 abstentions to request an opinion from the European Court of Justice on the leglaity of the proposed agreement to allow airline reservation data collected in the EU to be transferred to the USA -- before making any decision on whether to approve the proposed agreement (which has already been overwhelmingly rejected by EU national data protection authorities and the Europarl committees to which it was referred).
Unsatisfied, the USA is now lobbying to bring the issue back for another vote by the EP plenary. As Italian Radical Party MEP, former EP rapporteur on privacy, and member of the committee that had considered the proposal Marco Cappato told EUpolitix.com:
The council and the commission fear that the [court's] opinion will state that the international agreement is contrary to EU law... as it will almost probably do, and don't want to wait for it....
So they try again and again, they can't bear the European Parliament saying "let's check legality", they want it to say 'yes' and bend its head.
Statewatch.org has all the gory details; the new vote, if it occurs, is expected to be taken on Tuesday, 4 May 2004.
USA Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, who has led the USA lobbying effort in the EU, was reportedly in Europe all last week trying to get European governments to line up with the USA on this and related traveller identification and surveillance issues such as biometric passports.Link | Posted by Edward on Sunday, 2 May 2004, 23:46 (11:46 PM)