STRASBOURG, France – The European Parliament may revive draft legislation that would force airlines to give national governments in Europe information on passengers, highlighting renewed terrorism concerns after the attacks in Paris.
Timothy Kirkhope, a British member steering the stalled measures through the European Union assembly, vowed to propose beefed-up provisions on data protection. The E.U. Parliament's civil-liberties committee rejected the draft law in 2013.
The legislation, proposed by European regulators in 2011, would require E.U. and foreign carriers to provide national authorities with data about passengers on flights to and from the bloc; the proposal covers passengers' names, seat numbers, reservation dates, payment methods and itineraries.
"Europe's patchwork use of [such information] creates weak points that terrorists can exploit," Kirkhope said Tuesday at the 28-nation Parliament's headquarters in Strasbourg, France. "I want an agreement that safeguards lives and liberties by offering stronger data-protection rules while also making it much harder for a radicalized fighter to slip back into Europe undetected."
The Paris attacks have prompted calls for the E.U. to bolster its regulatory defenses against terrorism. Reports that one of the killers may have received military training in Yemen and that an accomplice traveled from France to Syria days before the attacks have put the spotlight on the draft plan.
The proposed Europewide program would resemble a U.S. system created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Kirkhope is a British Tory who belongs to the E.U. assembly's European Conservatives and Reformists Group. He pledged to produce revised proposals that include "tougher data protection and rules for the oversight on the use of data."
Manfred Weber, German head of the Christian Democrats in the E.U. Parliament, said Tuesday that his group has always endorsed the draft legislation and expressed hope that opponents in the 751-seat assembly would reconsider their stance.
The measures need the support of the E.U. Parliament and the bloc's national governments. The European Commission, the E.U.'s regulatory arm in Brussels, made the proposal four years ago.
European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have pressed the E.U. Parliament in recent days and weeks to unblock the proposal.