• 04-JUL-2013

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

DATAGATE: EU Parliament Will Launch Its Own Enquiry

The European Parliament today in Strasbourg strongly reacted to the US spying scandal, calling on Washington "to provide the EU, without undue delay, with full information on PRISM and other such programmes involving data collection".

Moreover, the MEPs also decided to start their own in-depth enquiry into the data scandal. The European Parliament committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs will hold an extraordinary meeting to launch this enquiry next Wednesday in Brussels.

Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group leader said:

"The US' activities spying on the EU institutions and countries has undermined our mutual trust, and it is now up to Washington to take quick action to fixit."

With regard to some EU countries' decision to close their air space to the plane of Bolivian president Morales, on grounds of suspicion that whistleblower Edward Snowden would be on the plane, Hannes Swoboda added:

"The confidential information leaked by Snowden shows that the US is spying on European member states and EU institutions. Instead of following instructions from the US, European governments should be pushing for full clarification and credible assurances that these spying activities have been definitively ended."

Dimitrios Droutsas, the EU Parliament's rapporteur on the new EU legislation on Data Protection, said:

"The latest revelations about the US are a 'wake-up call' for European citizens and everyone dealing with data protection in the EU.

"We are currently working on reforming data protection rules in the EU. We must insist on maintaining the high level of data protection achieved in Europe and even strive to raise this level, both in the private and in the public sector.

"It is about the daily life of the European citizen, it is about effectively protecting the citizen's fundamental rights. We cannot tolerate to see any similar incident happening again."

S&D vice-president Sylvie Guillaume expressed her regret at the rejection of an amendment to postpone negotiations on the EU-US free trade agreement:

"This agreement needs trust, transparency and clarity between the partners involved in order to succeed. Given the current situation, it is obvious that it is no longer the case.

"It is now up to the Commission and the Council to take up the irresponsibilities in this affair, where the right to privacy of our citizens is at stake".

Available video includes an edited package