European Parliament Committee Approves EU-US Airline Data Deal




27 Mar 2012


Brussels, Belgium



Edited Package
SJ: So, first of all Mr Voss, your reaction to the committee vote this morning.

AV: I'm totally relieved by this vote on the PNR system agreement today, and I'm really very happy about it.

SJ: Tell me why, because you've worked so much on this, haven't you...

AV: Yes, it was very emotional at least. The Greens, the liberals and the communists are totally against and tried to vote this down. But at least we tried to get a better position on it and a political
majority but at least it means in the consequences a lot for citizens and airlines.

SJ: Tell me a bit more about those consequences because you've always had at the back of your mind the practical reality of everyday life here...

AV: Yes, you are totally right. If we wouldn't have this agreement the data protection standards were lowering a lot, and of course we leave our citizens alone and we leave the airlines alone in a kind of legal
uncertainty and a [UNCLEAR] of legal uncertainty.

SJ: So where does this go from here now?

AV: So, we will go to plenary in April and therefore I hope we will also have the majority on it. But we have probably a lot of work again just trying to convince our own party, the other parties, and this will
go through the normal procedure but keeping an eye on this because it's very emotional.

SJ: But do you think that common sense has won the day today?

AV: Yes, I think so. We tried this very hard, it's sometimes very hard to convince people who are very ideologically influenced, they are looking only at ideological points and we are trying to look at the
consequences, at the realities, and therefore this was a good win for all of us.

SJ: Do you think there will be a positive reaction on the other side of the Atlantic to this news?

AV: Oh yes, I guess so. They were very concerned about this issue. We have been to the US last week and we were told again how important this is for the security and the security instrument for the US, and
therefore I think they are also very happy about it and relieved also.
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  • Ioannis Zografos
    EPP TV Managing Producer
    +32(0) 2 284 18 45