Paris attacks: MEP calls for suspension of data protection directive talks

MEPs at odds on data protection directive talks in wake of Paris attacks.

By Julie Levy-Abegnoli

19 Nov 2015

The Paris attacks appear to have initiated a storm of MEP clashes, as Parliament struggles to reach an agreement on new security measures amid heightened terrorism threats.

Axel Voss, EPP group shadow rapporteur on the data protection directive, which is currently being negotiated between Parliament, Council and the Commission, has called for the trilogues to be suspended and for its mandate to be reviewed. He wants to assess the legislation's potential impact on law enforcement agencies' ability to exchange information.

He said; "My political group has been highly sceptical about the data protection directive proposal from the very beginning. This proposal was further aggravated by the Left-wing majority of the European Parliament composed of Socialists, Liberals, Greens and Communists, which is why the EPP group voted against this directive both in committee and in plenary in 2014."


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"The Paris terrorist attacks have shown that the security of our citizens has to prevail over bureaucracy. These negotiations are going in the wrong direction and we have to stop them now and call on the European Commission to come forward with a modified proposal which reflects reality", he added.

However Jan Albrecht, Parliament's Greens/EFA group shadow rapporteur on the issue, disagreed. He told this website, "after the Paris attacks, it is even more important and urgent that we conclude the planned EU data protection directive for police and justice. Only with common standards on the exchange of information, especially on suspicious individuals, will we be able to improve security across the EU."

He underlined that it was, "a matter of security to pass these minimum standards as quickly as possible, and a matter of policymakers taking their job seriously not to make this a symbolic party political fight."

Albrecht and Voss have also worked together on the data protection regulation, which both agree must be finalised by the end of the year and does not deal with security issues.

 

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