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Parliament blocks SWIFT.

by Colman Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 06:47:54 AM EST

Via Kosmopolit comes the news that the EP has rejected the extension to the SWIFT data sharing deal between the US and the EU by 378 to 196 votes despite US bullying. Good for them.


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Broken by gk in the Salon.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 06:49:06 AM EST
All I have so far is a breaking news item in the Süddeutsche. No real details except that it was a large majority:
Das Europaparlament hat das heftig umstrittene Bankdatenabkommen mit den USA mit deutlicher Mehrheit abgelehnt.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 06:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ET coverage of the train crash as it loomed:

From nanne in the Salon - 19 January:

EUobserver: Parliament threatens to derail EU-US bank data deal
The European Parliament is threatening to derail an interim agreement allowing US authorities to track European bank transactions in terrorism investigations unless certain concessions are made.

From Fran in the Salon - 22 January:

EUobserver / MEPs call for delay on US bank data deal
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek is planning to send a letter to the Council of Ministers, the EU institution representing member states, calling for a suspension of a recent agreement that was to enable the continued transfer of EU citizens' banking data to US investigators.

From afew in the Salon - 24 January

EurActiv.com - Angry MEPs demand delay on EU-US bank data deal | EU - European Information on Justice & Home Affairs
MEPs today (21 January) clashed with EU ministers, calling for a delay to the entry into force of the so-called SWIFT agreement, a EU-US deal maintaining the transfer of EU citizens' banking data to US investigators.

From myself in the Salon - 28 January

European Parliament: The Week Ahead 25-31 January 2010 (22-01-2010)
Committee meetings - Brussels

...

SWIFT. The Civil Liberties Committee will discuss the interim agreement signed on November 30 by Council on the exchange of banking data with the United States via the SWIFT network. MEPs are likely to vote on the issue in plenary session in February.(Tuesday tbc)

Also this:
European Parliament: SWIFT interim agreement: Civil liberties Committee to vote on 4 February
Just as Civil Liberties Committee MEPs were getting set to vote on the EU-USA interim agreement on personal bank data transfers via the SWIFT network, the European Commission announced that a second report on SWIFT, by former counter-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, would be published on the same day - 4 February. MEPs criticized the timing, and disputed the Commission's claim that there would be a "security gap" if the agreement were rejected.
(with followup)

From DoDo in the Salon - 30 January:

Not So SWIFT: European Parliament to Reject Bank Data Agreement with US - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
The European Parliament appears set to reject a sweeping agreement with the United States on providing access to data about international wire transfers made from Europe.

From nanne in the Salon - 9 February:

SPIEGEL: US Urges European Parliament to Back Data Deal
As the European Parliament prepares to flex its muscles in the vote on the SWIFT data deal, the US is trying to convince the Europeans of the importance of sharing bank transfer information. US officials say the EU and Germany have already benefited from the SWIFT reports in fighting terrorism.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 07:22:43 AM EST
European parliament rejects SWIFT deal for sharing bank data with US | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 11.02.2010

On Thursday the European Parliament voted to reject a bank data sharing deal with the United States. The parliamentarians resisted appeals from the US to continue a nine-month interim agreement allowing US authorities to access financial transaction date from SWIFT, an international banking transfer system.

The US says the data-sharing is for investigations into terrorist activity, but many European politicians expressed concern that it failed to protect the privacy of EU citizens.

SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, facilitates trillions of dollars in financial transactions across the world each day.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 07:29:03 AM EST
BBC News - Euro MPs block bank data deal with US

The European Parliament has blocked a key agreement that allows US anti-terror officials to monitor Europeans' bank transactions.

The vote was a rebuff to intensive US lobbying for EU help in counter-terrorism investigations.

EU governments had negotiated a nine-month deal which would have allowed the US to continue accessing the Swift money transfer system.

But Euro MPs said the deal provided insufficient privacy safeguards.

Lawmakers in Strasbourg voted 378-196 against the deal, with 31 abstentions.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 07:32:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like the EU Parliament now they grew some nasty pointy teeth.

This also must be a bit of a satisfying retaliation to the governments who attempted to shove down SWIFT one day prior to the new Parliament.

Who's the USA calling now?

by Nomad on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 07:40:31 AM EST
the comment made by afew last week: when the US was lobbying the EP to not block this deal, you did not hear any complaints about "Europe not having a phone number" - they called the President of the Parliament (Buzek) and lobbied him hard - and presumably other parliamentary group leaders as well.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 08:07:35 AM EST
Hillary Clinton, late at night, called Buzek to lobby him.

When the US really wants something, it kinda focuses their mind on the phone numbers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 10:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe now Obama will think about attending the US/EU summit...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 10:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe the EU leaders will now discover a scheduling conflict.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 11:08:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they'll be only too glad to be able to apologize to the Emperor in person for the unseemly behaviour of the parlamentarians.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 11:10:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Separation of powers is a real bitch, eh?

Good thing for the Americans that they don't truck with such a silly idea.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 11:18:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emperor: Oh, I know what it's like, I don't have a majority either.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 12:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have a super-majority either any more. (Thank God!)


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 09:09:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

European parliament rejects US data swap deal
By Stanley Pignal in Brussels

The European Parliament on Thursday rejected a European Union agreement on sharing banking data with the US, hampering long-running US efforts to track down terrorist financing.

Errr... oh yeah: [citation needed]


But a slim majority of MEPs rallied against the bill, concerned that the agreement negotiated between the US and EU governments last year did too little to protect citizens' privacy.

378-196 is slim??? Like 59-41, maybe??


The US had lobbied hard to keep the data flowing, with Hillary Clinton, the secretary of State, and Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, both contacting Mr Buzek in an attempt to sway the vote.

Again: Europe has a phone number when needed!


Many parliamentarians were also angry at the way the EU negotiated the deal, without consulting the parliament in spite of its new powers gained under the Lisbon treaty, which came into effect in December.

EU member states had promised parliamentarians a greater say when a permanent version of the agreement was negotiated, which was due to start in the coming months.

So who's complaining about Europe's "democracy deficit" today???


But the fate of any permanent agreement was unclear on Thursday. The US may now opt for a bilateral deal with the Netherlands, which hosts the only Swift database inside the EU, or Switzerland, which also has a site. But such a deal would provide far less data and could compromise future attempts at getting an EU-wide agreement, officials say.

Yeah, let's not respect our allies and their institutions, go behind their backs and still expect undying fealty.

Feh.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 03:08:42 PM EST
Again: Europe has a phone number when needed!

I don't think you've really understood the "Kissinger quote". He didn't mean a phone number to call and discuss things. What he had in mind was a phone number he could call, tell the person on the other side what to do, and that person would get it done. It looks like the EU doesn't have such a number.

BTW, if it was about terrorism, why was Geithner calling the EU? Wouldn't  it have made more sense for Janet Napolitano to call them?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 04:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
gk:
BTW, if it was about terrorism, why was Geithner calling the EU?

In US administrations, everyone is an expert on terror.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 09:40:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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