EP: Liberty for the People

The European Parliament have today (27 September 2005) voted yes to the European citizens liberty. The vote rejected the plan for data retention that the Council had proposed (an initiative from the governments of Ireland, France, Sweden and the UK).

Although, since this proposal was initiated by the member states and is supposed to be about juridical and police cooperation, it falls under the third pillar and, thus the parliament have no co-decision power (the Council can (as an unelected body) make their own law in this case).

The problem for the Council is that the matter is already regulated by internal market rules and they can't really just change the rules without parliamentary approval if they want to avoid a potentially politically difficult situation (that probably would go to court if they tried). So, now the Parliament and the Council are awaiting a proposal in the matter from the Commission, this proposal will be in the internal market sector and thus subject towards full co-decision.

The Parliament is in general very negative about both of the proposals (though a bit more positive about the Commission's proposal), and in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet a MEP from the EPP wrote a joint debate article together with a MEP from (believe it or not) the NGLA about their opposition against the stasi-like law.

Libertas inaestimabilis res est!

European Parliament Press-release (en)
Aftonbladet (sv)
BBC (en)
Svenska Dagbladet Debate Article [pdf] (sv)

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