Better information sharing between national authorities – not PNR – will help to prevent terrorism
During today's debate in the European Parliament, GUE/NGL MEPs are highlighting that the proposed Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive does not enable the sharing of critical information between member states' authorities that could have helped to prevent the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels.
GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Cornelia Ernst, stated: "It is delusional to think that collecting more data on ordinary citizens will make Europe a safer place."
Ernst explained that if Europe wants to prevent terrorism, "we don't need more large volumes of data, we need better use of existing data."
"Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, we have learned that better cooperation between police and public prosecutors in the member states is needed. It would be much more effective to invest in this rather than spending billions of euros on Passenger Name Records," she continued.
Ernst added that under the PNR proposal discussed today, "ordinary people will unnecessarily become suspects and this undermines the principle of the rule of law."
French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, explained further: "Everyone wants European citizens to be safe, but the PNR directive won't work because the collection of data is not targeted. It is just a sort of harmonisation that does not require member states to exchange data. It would not have prevented the attacks in Paris or Brussels. These terrorists travelled by car and train, and intelligence services already knew about them."
"We don't need technology that will help big business make profits. Instead, we must do what is necessary to allow police and law enforcement authorities to do their work."
Irish MEP, Martina Anderson, also raised serious concerns for European citizens' fundamental rights: "The right to protection of personal data is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights."
"The PNR proposal is invasive and unecessary. The European institutions should concern themselves more with the protection of citizens' civil liberties rather than which meals they order on a flight," Anderson concluded.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20