28 Nov, 2023

Renew Europe: Improve EU border controls and identify threats

On 28 November, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the European Parliament’s negotiating mandate for two proposals on the collection and transfer of advance passenger information (API). 

The new rules will facilitate checks on passengers before their arrival at the EU’s external borders, enhance the fight against serious crime and terrorism and safeguard the data protection of passengers. 

More than half a billion people enter or leave the EU via air every year, and the collection of API is necessary to improve border controls and make it easier to identify persons posing security risks.  

"The Advanced Passenger Information regulation will finally harmonise rules and sets standards for the digital usage of passenger information,” said rapporteur Jan-Christoph Oetjen MEP (FDP, DE). 

“A great success is that passengers can still check in online and provide their necessary passenger data to their flights from home. However, some of the proposals go far beyond reality. As Renew Europe, we are calling for intra-EU flights to be completely exempt from regulation.” 

The report includes a new single central router which will help streamline the transmission of API data to national authorities, replacing the system of multiple connections between air carriers and national authorities.  

At the same time, a clear set of rules for collecting, transferring, processing and storing API data will give border authorities a more complete view of travellers arriving to better manage their border processes and prevent any illegal border crossings. 

Renew Europe pushed for the gathering and use of personal data to be limited to what is strictly necessary and proportionate, for the storage time to be limited to the minimum, and for the burden on travellers to be as small as possible. 

Inter-institutional negotiations with the Council will start if the two mandates are not challenged by MEPs at the EP’s next Plenary session on 11-14 December. 

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