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Dutch Member of the European Parliament Sophie in 't Veld (D66) today voted against an agreement between the Parliament, Council and Commission on a passenger name record (PNR). The proposal does not offer greater security, but does severely restrict the rights of civilians and costs European Governments millions of euros. In 't Veld: "National security and law enforcement authorities will be able to retain passenger data in an near unlimited manner, but mandatory sharing of the analysis of this data has been rejected by Member States. We could have agreed to a well-balanced proposal of purposeful data retention, sufficient protection of civilians’ rights and mandatory sharing of intelligence. The current proposal only gives a false sense of security."
Lack of cooperation
ALDE finds it incomprehensible that the EPP keeps talking about taking a firm stand against terrorism and criminal acts, but does not support a cross-border approach. "Criminals and terrorists work effectively together across borders. That is why the liberals also want national police and security services to work together in a concerted manner. After every attack it turns out that information on the assailants was readily available, but simply was not shared. National governments services have to start looking across borders and share their information", argues In 't Veld.
The PNR proposal also includes intra-EU flights, whereas only 8% of travellers travel by plane, and 92% by car, bus, train, boat or otherwise. In 't Veld: "After every attack, European Member States play gesture politics. Instead of acknowledging the legitimate fears and doubts of people and presenting effective measures to address these, they use these fears to implement even more drastic but ineffective measures. They create a smoke screen to shroud their own failures."