The EU Passenger Name Records Directive (PNR) has fallen victim to the power games of Socialist and other Left-wing leaders”, said Axel Voss MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the file, after a request to put the EU PNR deal to the vote was rejected by 207 votes against, 163 in favour and 14 abstentions.

After a political agreement was reached in early December 2015, it was endorsed by a majority of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, translated, and is ready for the final vote in plenary. However, Left-wing groups reached a blocking majority in the Conference of Presidents a number of times and rejected the request by the EPP and the ECR Groups for the inclusion of the EU PNR file on the plenary agenda. As long as the file stays in limbo, it cannot enter into force and become EU law.

“The EU PNR file will be an effective tool in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. There was no reasonable argument for not having this vote this week. In 2015, we voted on two parliamentary Resolutions where we committed ourselves to concluding the file at the end of last year. What are we waiting for? This should be our contribution to countering terrorism in respect of the dignity of the victims of Paris.

I am shocked that the responsibility of the Left-wing political leaders in the Parliament is so low. The Socialist leader Gianni Pittella and the Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt should be called to account. They are publicly pretending to be in favour of the EU PNR Directive, but every time it comes to a vote in meetings behind closed doors they vote against it.

They are taking EU citizens and their security hostage by playing political games. It is our responsibility to implement laws and to take action which can prevent terrorist attacks such as the one in Paris on 13 November. We owe this EU PNR Directive to the victims of the French terrorist attacks! The Left should take this into consideration. There was absolutely no justification for postponing the EU PNR vote any longer!", concluded Voss.

NOTE TO EDITORS

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

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