Today, the European Parliament will vote on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens which includes calls for the suspension of the TFTP Agreement and the suspension of the TTIP negotiations among other unrelated things. The EPP Group will vote against this Resolution.

"The Socialists and other Left-wing parties have failed to focus on the main issue at hand which is that of mass surveillance. Instead, they are trying to link this text to other legal instruments like the TFTP, data retention and the TTIP with a call for their suspension. This has nothing to do with mass surveillance and it is nonsense! The Left's approach is irresponsible and dangerous because there is no freedom without security. It is our duty to make sure that our citizens are safe. Security and counter terrorism remain a top priority!", said Axel Voss MEP, the EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur on the dossier.

The Socialists, Liberals and Greens are once again using such a delicate and sensitive subject to call for things which have nothing to do with the core issue such as the suspension of the TTIP which does not touch upon data protection at all, or calling for sunset clauses in EU legislation which is an institutional issue linked to better regulation and not to the issue at stake.

In a period of significant budgetary restraints, these Leftists are calling upon taxpayers to fork out a significant amount of money to replace the EP software with an 'open-source' software and they are doing this with no evidence which suggests that open-source software will provide more security. The same applies to the question of whistle blowers.

All these are really serious subjects and indeed they deserve an honest, transparent and inclusive debate. They certainly do not deserve to be dumped into a wishy-washy catchall Resolution.

The EPP Group deems the following points as 'red lines' and defines them as key votes:

  1. Call to suspend the TFTP Agreement (paragraph 31, amendment 13 by the Greens)
  2. Sunset clause and extension provisions in legislation that allows for the collection of personal data (paragraph 22)
  3. Placing certain budgetary resources for the Commission in a reserve (paragraph 6)
  4. Call to suspend the TTIP negotiations (amendment 11 by the Greens)
  5. Call to drop the criminal charges against Edward Snowden (amendment 10 by the Greens)
  6. Call for a whistle blower protection programme (paragraph 38)
  7. Safe Harbour ruling impact on the US PNR, the TFTP and umbrella agreement (amendment 6 by ALDE)
  8. Call to replace the IT software of the EU Institutions by open source software (paragraph 43)
  9. Call for a definition of national security (paragraph 21)

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States

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