A European Commission proposal to allow the use of EU air passenger name record (PNR) data in investigating serious crime and terrorist offences was rejected by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs Wednesday, by 30 votes to 25.
Air carriers collect PNR data from passengers during reservation and check-in procedures for flights entering or leaving the EU. It includes the passenger’s name, address, phone number and credit card details. The Commission proposed in February 2011 to oblige air carriers to provide EU countries with the data of passengers entering or leaving the EU, for use in preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting serious crime and terrorist offences.
After the committee vote, rapporteur Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK) and other MEPs expressed concern about its possible consequences for EU counter-terrorism policy. They also asked that the matter be referred to the full House. Other MEPs welcomed the vote and said that the Commission should come up with a new proposal.
Civil Liberties Committee chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) proposed that the matter be put to Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (EP and political group presidents) in order to decide how to proceed.