European values ignored
At today's EU summit in Brussels, the leaders have not made any clear policy decisions on data protection or refugee issues. Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said:
"The heads of state and government apparently do not want to be on an equal footing in their partnership with the USA. There was huge upset surrounding the issue of Merkel's mobile, but the response has been pathetic. And yet the EU does have the means to put pressure on the United States.
"The European Parliament called this week for the suspension of the current SWIFT agreement on the transfer of bank data to U.S. authorities. Since Edward Snowden's revelations, the Greens have also been calling for suspension of the negotiations on the EU-US free trade agreement. Before the negotiations go any further, there must be mandatory data protection standards that are also binding on state secret services.
"The decision of the heads of state and government to finalise the planned EU Data Protection Regulation in 2015 only, shows that protecting Europeans' data and civil rights is not a priority for Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and the majority of EU Council members.
"The postponement of any decision on the refugee crises in the Mediterranean is a further sign that European values do not count, at a time when they matter most. This is a shameful omission that will catch up with the leaders at the next big disaster in the Mediterranean."