EU mulls new air passenger info deal
The proposed agreement to supply the names, addresses, payment details and telephone numbers of passengers will replace the earlier one.india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 14:40 IST
The European Commission plans to propose a replacement deal on Tuesday for an agreement which obliges EU countries to provide the United States with advance information on air passengers headed to US airports.
The proposed agreement to supply the names, addresses, payment details and telephone numbers of passengers will replace one struck down by the European Court of Justice last month.
The proposal is expected to be introduced within a different legal framework but contain the same essential details, despite objections from some EU lawmakers who have argued that the agreement breaches privacy rights.
The European Court of Justice said the initial pact had been wrongly struck within a legal framework pertaining to the supply of commercial services and gave the EU until Sept. 30 to find a solution before the deal went out of force.
The European Commission, the EU's executive body, will use public security as the legal basis behind the replacement deal, spokesman to EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini said.
"The content will be the same, we're just changing the legal basis," he said.
The United States said the pact is essential to Washington's war on terrorism in the wake of the Sept 11, 2001 suicide hijack attacks which killed about 3,000 people in Washington, New York and a field in rural Pennsylvania.
The European Commission hopes the bloc's justice ministers will endorse the new pact and give the Commission a mandate to negotiate it with the United States in their next meeting on July 24 in Brussels.
Washington has said it believes the ruling will have no immediate impact on transatlantic air travel.