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The European Parliament may revive draft legislation that would force airlines to give national governments in Europe information on passengers, highlighting renewed terrorism concerns after the attacks in Paris.
Timothy Kirkhope, a U.K. member steering the stalled measures through the European Union assembly, vowed to propose beefed-up provisions on data protection in a bid to win over skeptical lawmakers. The EU Parliament’s civil-liberties committee rejected the draft law in April 2013.
The legislation, proposed by European regulators in 2011, would require EU and foreign carriers to provide national authorities with data about passengers on flights to and from the bloc; the proposal covers the “passenger name record” including seat number, reservation date, payment method and travel itinerary.
“Europe’s patchwork use of PNR creates weak points that terrorists can exploit,” Kirkhope said in a statement today at the 28-nation Parliament’s headquarters in Strasbourg, France. “I want an agreement that safeguards lives and liberties by offering stronger data-protection rules while also making it much harder for a radicalized fighter to slip back into Europe undetected.”
The Paris attacks, in which three gunmen with Jihadist links killed 17 people last week, have prompted calls for the EU to bolster its regulatory defenses against terrorism. Reports that one of the killers may have received military training in Yemen and that an accomplice traveled from France to Syria days before the attacks have put the spotlight on the draft PNR legislation.
The proposed Europe-wide program would resemble a U.S. system established after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The EU measures stalled because of opposition by Socialist, Liberal and Green members of the EU Parliament.
Kirkhope is a U.K. Tory who belongs to the EU assembly’s European Conservatives and Reformists Group, the third-biggest faction behind the No. 1 Christian Democrats and No. 2 Socialists. He pledged to come up in the coming weeks with revised proposals that include “tougher data protection and rules for the oversight on the use of data.”
Manfred Weber, German head of the Christian Democrats in the EU Parliament, told reporters today that his group has always endorsed the draft PNR legislation and expressed hope that opponents in the 751-seat assembly would reconsider their stance.
The measures need the support of the EU Parliament and the bloc’s national governments. The European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm in Brussels, made the proposal four years ago.
This article was written by Jonathan Stearns from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.