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Buyantukhaa
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EP Likely To End EU/US Pax List Agreement

Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:20 pm

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4459836.stm

A top European Union legal expert has advised scrapping an EU-US agreement under which airline passenger data is released to the US authorities. Passenger lists have been handed over to US customs since May last year, in what the US sees as a key measure to combat terrorism.

But the European parliament objected to the potential violation of privacy. The advocate-general of the European Court of Justice has now ruled that the deal goes beyond the EU's powers.

Philippe Leger said the European Commission and EU governments should not have taken decisions concerning security and the fight against terror, as they come under national, not EU law. But he dismissed the breach of privacy argument.

The full court will make a final ruling, but it usually accepts the opinions of its advisers, known as advocates-general.
[..].
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
ANother
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RE: EP Likely To End EU/US Pax List Agreement

Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:16 am

Be careful jumping to conclusions here. This is an opinion of a advocate-general of the European Court. His opinion is that this isn't a matter for the EU, but for member states. His opinion also rejects the privacy arguments put forward by the European Parliment

The court usually follows the AGs advice. If they do - then it becomes a bilateral matter between the US and each of the 25 Member States. (and the MS's will obviously take notice of the rejection of the privacy arguments) If they don't the agreement stands.

The downside is that, once again, the airlines could find themselves having to deal with conflicting laws/regulations.
 
ikramerica
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RE: EP Likely To End EU/US Pax List Agreement

Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:31 am

We have similar battles between national and state rights here in the US, but this kind of matter is truly a national interest.

If the EU is a "nation of states" in any sense, they should have at least a unified position relative to matters of security when dealing with a third party. That's an important step.

The big question is: it might be a big hassle, but the alternative is to not be allowed to fly to the US. You visit another country, you play by their rules, be they security, visa, agricultural, etc. Any nation thinking they don't have to will be sorely mistaken.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: EP Likely To End EU/US Pax List Agreement

Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:14 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
If the EU is a "nation of states" in any sense, they should have at least a unified position relative to matters of security when dealing with a third party. That's an important step

I agree. Imagine the mess when having to make 25 bilateral agreements... This is a tricky question though, because a more streamlined and unified European operation, which in my opinion would be beneficial for both Europe and the rest of the world (not just the US), would directly affect the sovereignty of EU member states.
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: EP Likely To End EU/US Pax List Agreement

Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:22 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
The big question is: it might be a big hassle, but the alternative is to not be allowed to fly to the US. You visit another country, you play by their rules, be they security, visa, agricultural, etc. Any nation thinking they don't have to will be sorely mistaken.

Don't forget that those concepts go both ways. If country A decides that the collection of some private information from its citizens is illegal - then it is illegal on its territory be the airline one of its nationals or an American airline. Would American, or Delta, or Northwest, or United, or US Air be in a position to break the law of a sovereign nation? Do you think they would be allowed to fly to country A if they continued to do so?

Regretfully, if the AG opinion stands, we will have a dilemma where national law conflicts - and the airlines are right in the middle. Damed if the do, damned if they don't.

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