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European Parliament work to protect the citizens: Combating Terrorism and Data Protection to guarantee freedom and security.

pdf mise en ligne :31 10 2008 ( NEA say… n° 56 )

ASILE > Eurodac

In the days 23th and 24th September, the European Parliament has debate and adopt a text about the fight to terrorism and data protection. As much as concern the terrorism, more than 5000 internet sites are said to incite the terrorism, and the debate are focused on the utilization of new technologies for fight the terrorism. As much as data protection, the European Parliament has propose to include three new offences in European Law: public incitement to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism, and terrorist training.

MEPs were worried about possible abuses in the use of personal data in the name of counter-terrorism measures. French Socialist Martine Roure said:” the fight against the terrorism can only be effective and proportionate if the protection of human rights is reinforced”.

In accord with Martine Roure is the European Parliament that said: “the fight against the terrorism must not constrain freedom of expression” (EN).

Aiming to produce a balanced text that can best serve those seeking to prevent radicalisation and the emergence of potential terrorists whilst affording maximum protection to fundamental rights, MEP's adopted a consultation report by Roselyne Lefrancois (PES, FR) with 600 votes in favour 21 against and 39 abstentions (EN).


Little lack of understanding on the long way

The European Parliament had already been consulted on this issues, but when a November 2007 agreement in Council diverged substantially from the Commission's original proposal, MEPs were invited to comment on the new text. The text draft in Council would apply only to exchanges of data among Member States, and not to the processing of data within them, as originally planned. MEPs consider that the text should also apply to data processed at national level and that particular attention should be paid to the purposes to which personal data may be utilised. MEPs also reinsert the idea, proposed by the Commission but not taken up by the Council, of a working party on the protection of people with regard to the processing of personal data, which would deliver opinions and recommendations to the institutions.


MEPs put on leash the private operators

MEPs stipulate that, Member States' competent authorities, transfer of personal data to third countries or international organisations must be better governed, by doing it case by case, and the Member States must meet tougher conditions in order to avail themselves of an exemption from the requirement to ensure adequate protection for data transferred to third countries. The assessment of whether the level of protection offered by a third country is adequate should moreover be done by an independent authority.


Explicit safeguards clauses
MEPs propose inserting safeguards, throughout the text, for fundamental freedoms and in particular freedom of expression, these provisions took up the safeguards clause already present in the Council of Europe Convention, which the Commission had left out of its proposal.

The approved report also reiterates the need to abide by the UE Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Right.

Finally, it stressed that the framework decision must not prevent the airing of radical, polemic or controversial views, even on terrorism and that the contents of private communications such as e-mail must be protected.

The European Union must apply one self to guarantee the security and above all the freedoms of European citizens, doing many attention to not violate the freedom and the privacy of his citizens.


Alessandro Romano

Università degli Studi di Napoli “L'Orientale”
Napoli - Italia