Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Null and void and SWIFT

Earlier this month, Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament wrote a letter (via to the Spanish Council Presidency regarding the SWIFT agreement between the USA and the EU (see background).

As you may have noticed, this affair has caused quite some controversy in the European Parliament these days.

So it is quite interesting to find this corrigendum of a Council document from today yesterday called
"Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program - Reply to the letters from the President of the European Parliament"
The title and the fact that it is addressed from the Spanish Council Presidency to the EU member states in COREPER makes it look like a draft reply to Buzek's letter.

But the text in the corrigendum filed under "5432/10 COR 1" is just:
Document 5432/10 shall be considered null and void.
In addition, the original document "5432/10" cannot be found in the Council documents archive.

What happened to the alleged draft reply - did the Spanish have to withdraw it due to pressure from the Parliament or from certain member states?