what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Agreement between the EU and the United States on the processing and transfer of passenger name records

Over the past decade the USA has profiled all passengers entering their country, checking whether they might potentially be terrorists.

Passenger name records (PNR) are what passengers give to airlines when they book or buy tickets and check in. They can include information like names, addresses, passport numbers, travel routes and credit card information.

Airlines have thus found themselves caught between the requirements set out in provisions of EU privacy laws and demands for access to their booking systems by third countries.

The practice was legitimised by agreements concluded between the EU and the USA and Australia. The Commission also proposed an EU PNR system.


What was the Greens' position?
The Greens are not convinced that mass data retention and the profiling based upon it creates any added value. In our view the damage caused by this practice is highly disproportionate. At the very least the purpose of collecting such data should be limited to combating terrorism. We believe that not all data should be retained and/or stored for an undefined period of time and that everyone should have the right to appeal against the retention of their personal data.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
In the negotiations, the Greens were the most consistent group in Parliament, consistently arguing against the agreement, and for now we succeeded in defeating the Commission's proposal for an EU PNR. However, this only protects citizens from having their data retained when flying within the EU.


Which points did the Greens lose?
The Greens were unable to bring about the rejection of the PNR agreement with the USA. We regret that even the ALDE and S&D caved into pressure from third countries and airlines instead of protecting the privacy of European citizens.
Press & Events

Procedure:Non-legislative enactment


Lead MEP:Sophia In 't Veld (ALDE)

Green MEP responsible:Jan Philipp Albrecht


Staff contact:Wouter Van Ballegooij (Email)
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Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?