The European Parliament today, in the Strasbourg plenary, has adopted the so-called SWIFT agreement for bank data transfers to US authorities. Greens/EFA home affairs expert in the European Parliament Jan Philipp Albrecht comments:
"The adoption of the new swift agreement by the majority of the parliament is a blow for the negotiations on a binding protection of fundamental rights in international security cooperation. There were some improvements to the first draft, but there is still fundamental criticism of the massive data transfers without initial suspicion and the too long data retention periods. The grand coalition of conservatives, social democrats and liberals has therefore accepted lower standards than the existing principles of the rule of law and is risking a regulation that is in breach of EU law.
We Greens have therefore opposed the new agreement and, as a progressive force, aim for stronger privacy protection and the principle of the rule of law in transatlantic cooperation. As the Parliament's rapporteur for the comprehensive data protection agreement planned by justice commissioner Viviane Reding, I will personally work with the US administration and the US Congress on binding rules in this field. It is therefore really sad to see that the European Parliament has weakened its influence on the United States by accepting the SWIFT agreement today. A real change towards binding fundamental rights protection in the fight against terrorism requires greater courage and effort."
For further questions, you can reach Jan Philipp Albrecht on his German mobile phone: +49-175-1656698