The Dutch coalition parties VVD and Labour are opposed to European Commission plans to establish a register of all flights made by European Union residents, broadcaster Nos says on Wednesday.
The two parties have asked justice minister Ard van der Steur to lobby for changes to the legislation and if this does not work, they say they will take the issue to the European Court of Justice.
Brussels wants to record the foreign travel movements of all 500 million EU citizens as part of efforts to improve security. Labour and the VVD, however, back a register of ‘suspicious’ travel patterns only.
VVD parliamentarian Jeroen van Wijngarden told the broadcaster he supports registering ‘if someone travels eight times a year to Syria via the Middle East’. But it is completely unnecessary to register ‘who likes to go on a walking holiday in Iceland,’ he said.
Labour MPs say rules also need to be established about what information is collected, who can view it and how long it should be kept. ‘I want to prevent innocent people being labelled suspects,’ said Labour MP Jeroen Recourt.
The Passenger Name Record scheme requires the storage of all data collected by airlines about passengers – including email addresses, credit card details, phone numbers and meal choices (halal, kosher, etc) – for use by security agencies.
The aim, according to the European parliament website, is to ‘fight terrorism and serious transnational crime’. The move to establish a PNR was approved by the European parliament’s civil liberties committee by 32 votes to 27 in July.
The Commission hopes to finalise the legislation by the end of the year.
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