The European Parliament should reconsider its misgivings on legislation to improve data-sharing on air travelers entering and leaving the continent after this week’s terror attacks in France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
Speaking in Hamburg today, Merkel urged EU lawmakers to re- examine their stance on data privacy that has held up legislation on exchanging air-ticket data since 2011. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said last month foot-dragging over sharing information put lives at risk.
Though accords cover data-sharing on travelers to the U.S. and Canada, compulsory information-sharing is lacking on travelers to and from Europe, Merkel told reporters after policy talks with her Christian Democrats in the port city.
“The European Parliament must address the passenger data question,” she said.
While underlining that Germany has a “functioning” anti- terror system, Merkel said the week’s “barbaric” events in France presented new challenges that it cannot solve alone. EU ministers including German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will hold talks in Paris tomorrow on how to close security gaps.
Cameron told an EU summit on Dec. 18 that European lawmakers should not stand in the way of a mechanism agreed by national governments, arguing that the rules are needed to better track terrorists and foreign fighters traveling to and from Europe and areas such as Iraq and Syria.
The European Parliament’s civil-liberties committee in November blocked the draft law, which would enable governments to obtain people’s full travel itineraries, insisting it needed more time to assess data-protection issues.
In a declaration released today, Merkel’s CDU said it was ready to stand side-by-side with Muslims to respond to the assault on core European values marked by this week’s terror acts in France.
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