3 February 2010 - The "SWIFT affair"
On 30 November 2009, the Council of the European Union has signed a temporary agreement between the EU and the USA on the processing of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. The agreement was signed on the eve of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. It temporarily avoids the co-decision procedure; however its implementation, on 1 February 2010 for a 9-month duration, requires the vote of an assent by the European Parliament. The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will be asked to give its opinion on 4 February. In case of a positive vote, the assent will be asked during the plenary session of the European Parliament, probably on 9 February.
This agreement follows the transfer of financial messaging data by the SWIFT Company. Since then, the company has ensured compliance with the European legislation. Therefore, it is now voluntarily that the European Union transfers financial messaging data of its residents to the United States, using the excuse that the processing of financial data by the American authorities for its fight against international terrorism would be efficient. The Commission and the Council draw on a confidential report by the judge Jean Louis Bruguière, High Representative of the European Union in the United States for the fight against financing of terrorism.
AEDH condemns such agreement and the procedure used by the Commission and the Council to avoid the new co-decision power of the European Parliament. It condemns the fact that it confronts with a fait accompli, the MEPs who must give their opinion on those documents which were only transmitted and available since the end of January.
In the wake of what is now called the SWIFT affair, please find attached the temporary agreement between the EU and the USA on the processing of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program and the Council decision which will be submitted to the assent procedure of the European Parliament.
Download the document.
|Development : Jean-Luc Nguyen Webdesign : Véronique Geubelle|