Minister of State Roche urges European Parliament to approve Agreement on Passenger Name Registration
Minister for European Affairs, Mr. Dick Roche T.D., today urged the European Parliament to approve a draft agreement which permits the provision to the US authorities of personal data on passengers travelling by air between the EU and the US. “I am aware of and respect the concerns which have been expressed by many concerning the impact on personal privacy which the transfer of such data may have. These concerns were shared widely by many in Council discussions and led to the negotiation by the Commission of the current draft agreement which limits the use to which such data can be put and allows for review as well as redress for the citizen in the event of error.
I am satisfied that this draft agreement is a fair balance between rightful concerns to protect personal privacy and the need to increase security in the air for all passengers across the Atlantic”
Note for Editors: Agreement between the EU and the US on the Transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR)1
The current PNR situation arose in February of last year when the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection introduced a regulation that requires airlines to transfer passenger data to the US authorities for all Transatlantic flights entering the United States. Since then negotiations have been ongoing between the US authorities and the Commission to provide for the data transfer through an international agreement. The draft agreement negotiated by the Commission is a result of these negotiations. The Council of Ministers has referred the draft EU -US International Agreement on this issue to the European Parliament for its consideration. The Parliament is expected to debate the draft Agreement tomorrow (Tuesday, 20 April) and vote on a resolution on the draft Agreement on Wednesday (21 April).
The Agreement is part of a number of a number of measures now being taken by the Commission to address this issue which is also expected to arise with other countries e.g. Canada and Australia. The European Union intends to develop its own policy on the use of PNR and/or traveller’s data more generally within the Union and to bring draft proposals forward by the middle of the year. The Commission’s view is that the transfer of PNR data should ultimately be dealt with on a multilateral level i.e. under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.