Volume 46 (2009)

Volume 46 (2009) / Issue 3

Vagelis Papakonstantinou, Paul De Hert, 'The PNR Agreement and Transatlantic anti-terrorism Cooperation: No firm human rights framework on either side of the Atlantic' (2009) 46 Common Market Law Review, Issue 3, pp. 885–919


Seamless air commuting between the EU and the USA appears to constitute nowadays a much sought-after but nevertheless still elusive cause. The level of co operation between the two parties has had, and is still having, its best and worst days. The protection of individual privacy continues to constitute one of the causes for much controversy. In Europe, the formal recognition of a right to data protection, in addition to the right to privacy, has led to an elaborate framework for the protection of individuals; however, internal, institutional difficulties have frequently caused confusion as to the appropriate legal treatment of different situations. In the USA individual privacy and personal data are protected through a mixture of sources: Constitutional law, Supreme Court case law, federal legislation, sector-specific legislation, etc. The difference in approach is obvious and has fed European belief about having higher standards in protection of personal data. After 9/11, the request of American security authorities to have increased access to the personal data of passengers (PNR data) visiting the USA, inevitably led to yet another confrontation of the two systems. The conflict was attempted to be resolved by a First (2004) PNR Agreement, that was annulled by the European Court of Justice, then by an Interim PNR Agreement and, finally, by the, in effect, Second (2007) PNR Agreement. The paper attempts to bring forward the route to the conclusion of the PNR Agreements, as well as to asses the effectiveness of the policy choices and the PNR Agreement model itself for the protection of individual privacy.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2009036