Saturday 6 February 2010

After SWIFT – sudden EU-US data protection agreement consultation

Lately the Commission, the Council and the US administration have been as busy lobbying the SWIFT / TFTP agreement on rendering financial data from the European Union to the United States as they previously were anxious to keep the European Parliament in the dark. Not that the quality of information seems to have improved despite turning on the volume.

The European Parliament has informed us about the 29 to 23 vote of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) to propose rejection: SWIFT: MEPs to vote on backing or sacking EU/US data sharing deal (5 February 2010).

I wonder why the 23 who voted for breaching EU data protection standards have been so silent about their reasons.

The Euroblogosphere has actively debated the SWIFT agreement and the muscular diplomacy employed, for instance: Henrik Alexandersson, Henrik Alexandersson, Netzpolitik, Henrik Alexandersson, Julien Frisch, Henrik Alexandersson, Thomas Mayer, Jon Worth, Europaeum, Julien Frisch, Open Europe Blog, Sköne Oke.


Suddenly, after keeping the European Parliament and the EU citizens in the dark for so long about the SWIFT agreement, the European Commission’s DG Freedom, Security and Justice has launched an online consultation on the future European Union (EU) - United States of America (US) international agreement on personal data protection and information sharing for law enforcement purposes. The consultation runs until 12 March 2010.

I wonder.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. The BBC’s Europe editor Gavin Hewitt writes a blog, which presents European politics to readers in Britain and worldwide.

Gavin Hewitt’s Europe is listed on multilingual, which has now grown to 532 great Euroblogs. is your useful one-stop-shop for fact, opinion and gossip on EU affairs, i.a. politics, more than thirty policy areas, communication, economics, finance, business, civil society and law.

At the same time Euroblogs are an agreeable way to brush up one’s skills in foreign languages.

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By the way, I also discuss European issues, including the relations between the EU and Switzerland, in Finnish on Eurooppaoikeus and in Swedish on Grahnblawg.


  1. You need to keep in mind the fact that there is a lot on the line here. Being too vocal about their reasoning could come back to haunt them. Everyone involved wants the proper data protection methods to be instituted, there are just some conflicting pathos based issues.


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