Thursday 11 February 2010

EP says NO to SWIFT

The European Parliament has said "No!" to the SWIFT agreement between the EU and the USA, with 378 votes in favour and 196 votes against (plus 31 abstentions) the report by rapporteur Hennis (fresh photo from right after the vote) which recommended to reject the SWIFT agreement.

As far as I can recall, this is the first time since September 2001 that representatives who have been elected by us have made a bold and substantive statement that the fight against terror may not undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.

It is also the first bold expression of the "new" European Parliament. It is the strong claim that it now represents European citizens more than ever before and that neither the Commission nor the member states in the Council can continue their behind-closed-doors, bureaucratic-diplomatic games against the interests of us citizens.

It is a sign that the EU system might actually become more political and thus maybe a little more democratic in the future - if MEPs continue to play their role after SWIFT, too.

This is a great and historic day for Europe, and I thank MEPs and especially rapporteur Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her good work on this dossier!

PS.: The postponement of the vote as demanded by the European Peoples Party (EPP) group had been rejected just slightly with 290 against 305 votes (via @bueti on Twitter). That was close!


Anonymous said...

The best thing the EP has done in a long time!

A. Rebentisch said...

Indeed, the European Parliament approved the excellent report.

For reforms it would be important that the European Parliament continues to show its institutional strength.

Anonymous said...

I was a little suprised at this result, but a very pleasing result non the less.

Andreea said...

This decision was a nice surprise, as I know that the SWIFT issue goes back a few years and that the US has had access to a virtually unlimited amount of information just because it might have had to do with terrorism. What is very disconcerting is that the EP has agreed to it at that time, and only the fact that US wanted some more servers in several EU countries made this issue resurface. Better late than never, right?