Fitzgerald welcomes approval for proposed EU Passenger Name Records Directive

Acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed the European Parliament’s approval of the proposed EU Passenger Name Records (PNR) Directive.

The PNR Directive would establish a European framework for the collection and use of PNR data by law enforcement agencies for the purposes of combatting terrorism and serious crime.

Ms Fitzgerald said: “The proposed EU Directive on PNR will be an important measure in the ongoing fight against terrorism and serious crime, and one which Ireland sees as a priority for the Union.

“The recent terrorist atrocities in Paris and Brussels and the ongoing concern about the threat from foreign fighters emphasise clearly the need for coordinated and targeted action among the Member States of the EU. Enhancing access to relevant information and improving information sharing are essential in this context.”

Ms Fitzgerald added: “Ireland supports the proposed PNR Directive and will give effect to it. The importance of a common EU framework for the use of PNR data by police and law enforcement services, with robust data protection provisions, has been consistently advocated by Ireland. I am pleased that this Directive has been approved by the Parliament and I look forward to its adoption by the Council of Justice Ministers in the very near future.”

Dara Murphy, government minister for European affairs and data protection, said: “Once adopted, the new EU rules on the use of Passenger Name Record data will contain important safeguards for the protection of people’s data. This is to ensure that the information collected and held is handled with care and strictly used only for the specific purposes of preventing, detecting, investigating or prosecuting terrorist offences or serious crime.

“This measure is about striking the right balance, ensuring that our response to the risks and threats we face is proportionate, while respecting fundamental rights.”

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