The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has, in principle, approved the proposed EU agreement with Canada on the exchange of passenger name records (PNR). "I am pleased with the Court's finding that the proposed agreement with Canada is, in principle, compatible with EU law with regard to the transfer of PNR data and its storage of all data. In the fight against terrorism and serious cross-border crime, this approach and the agreement is an important building block", said Axel Voss MEP, the EPP Group's Rapporteur for the agreement with Canada.
Having consented to the agreement, the European Parliament had called on the European Court of Justice to review its compatibility with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. "We have always said that PNR data can never be decisive in criminal prosecution, but must always be used in conjunction with other findings. I understand that the court is calling for a further restriction on sensitive data and that the agreement has to be reworked before the entry-into-force. The agreement itself has been confirmed even if some have tried to interpret the ECJ’s decision differently", added Voss.
"For me, on the other hand, the criticism of ‘early cancellation’ is completely incomprehensible; that the court takes the view that one must always know in advance who is a criminal or a terrorist and furthermore, give them a comprehensive right to individual information. This view is not only worldwide but also highly counterproductive. On the issue of the fight against terrorism, the protection of the data of all citizens is less important than the protection of the individual", he concluded.