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EU leaders back deal on exchange of passenger data

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EU leaders back deal on exchange of passenger data


Following the Paris attacks, European Union members have backed a plan taking the bloc one step closer to setting up a Passenger Name Record system.

The European Council has approved a compromise text agreed with the European Parliament regarding a proposed mandate on the use of PNR data for “the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.”

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, addressed the press:
“We’ve worked on relocation, returns and readmission, as well as the management of external borders. I won’t hide it, there are still problems when it comes to implementing these measures,” he said.

Under the deal, passenger data would be available to other countries’ security agencies for six months and stored and accessible under tighter rules for a further four and a half years. France originally asked for easy availability for a year, while parliament preferred three months.

But France’s call for the rules to apply to internal EU flights as well as those to and from non-EU countries has been left in the proposal.

Germany has pushed for the Union’s Frontex border agency to be responsible for controlling frontiers with non-Schengen countries if a member state fails to do so.

Some opposition is expected when MEPs vote on the plan in the week following the EU’s decision.

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