EU Parliament adopts passenger data directive

The European Parliament has passed the controversial Passenger Name Records directive. The new regulation obliges European airlines to record the names, credit card numbers and meal preferences of their passengers. Commentators praise the agreement.

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El Mundo (ES) /

A good step toward more security

In many respects the EU Parliament's agreement on passenger data records should be greeted as a step forward, the conservative daily El Mundo comments:

“In view of the serious threat we face, we should celebrate the adoption of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) directive. Not just because it is a necessary tool in the fight against jihadism and for preventing attacks but also because this is a step forward in the cooperation among the security forces of the 28 member states. And because of the fact that after five years of discussions about how to create the records the text now approved will protect the most private passenger data such as information about race, health or religious beliefs.”

Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

Europe can still work together after all

The EU Parliament's decision on passenger name records is a long overdue example of pan-European cooperation, the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore comments with a sigh of relief:

“It's paradoxical: on the one hand the parliament in Strasbourg is passing directives for joint counterterrorism. On the other hand individual states are undermining Schengen and the freedom of movement by securing 'their' European borders, thus deciding unilaterally where the EU begins and where it ends. … The EU Parliament's decision is a compromise, the result of a debate that began five years ago and became tragically relevant after the Paris and Brussels attacks. The terrorists work faster than European bureaucracy. And it's not enough to simply store data, you have to know how to share it. … The flight data won't be enough to track down terrorists. For that we need cooperation among the various intelligence services.”