European Parliament rejects plans to hand bank details to the US

Sharing of bank records with the US started in 2001 in an effort to tackle terrorism. However, the European Parliament has rejected new proposed agreement after heated criticisms that too much private information could be handed over without good reason.

The Register reported:

The European Parliament has rejected a proposed interim agreement on SWIFT – under which the US gets access to European bank transactions…

Rapporteur Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert from the Netherlands said the Council had not been tough enough on data protection and rules in the interim agreement on data protection were not proportionate to the security supposedly provided.

London Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford has been a vocal critic of the proposed agreement:

Major data protection weaknesses in the accord – such as the volume of information transferred, length of storage time, potential transfer to other agencies and third countries, and lack of rights to be informed or compensated for wrongful use – make it a bad deal for EU citizens.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International.


  • Malcolm Todd 17th Feb '10 - 9:43am

    Wow. A story involving the European Parliament that’s neither yawn-inducing nor deeply dispiriting. Two questions, however, in the spirit of genuine enquiry, though no doubt stoked by the growing cynicism of my own medieval warm period:

    1. Given the existence of an agreement on this since 2001, does this decision make more than a dime of difference?

    2. Given that I haven’t yet fully mastered the detailed constitutional implications of the Lisbon Treaty – does the Parliament have a genuine veto in this case?

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Feb '10 - 4:16pm

    Thanks, Niklas.

    I get the impression that there’s a sort of weak collective responsibility doctrine surrounding the Commission – they are supposed to function as a collective executive body rather than as delegates or representatives of their states (which is what makes it so horribly undemocratic). Of course. ‘collective responsibility’ in government is a constitutional convention rather than a legal or administrative rule – which doesn’t stop anyone from hiding behind it.

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