Europe tightens border controls

Following last week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, European ministers
have announced that they would start implementing tighter border controls
and greater sharing of airline passenger data.

EU ministers from 11 countries met at France’s interior ministry on Sunday
(January 11) to discuss the threat of jihadist attacks in Europe. In a joint
statement following the meeting, the 11 ministers said they would look into
amending the rules of the Schengen Borders Code to allow for information
sharing and more comprehensive passenger checks.

The ministers said there was an ‘urgent need’ to move towards a European
Passenger Name Record (EU PNR) framework, a comprehensive database of
passenger information, including travel dates, travel itinerary, ticket
information, contact details and means of payment used. The EU PNR proposal
could force airlines to provide EU countries with the data of passengers
entering or leaving the EU for use in preventing, detecting, investigating
and prosecuting serious crime and terrorist offences. The draft directive
was rejected 30-25 by European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee in
April 2013 after some members described it as needlessly invasive.