As announced today by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Europa Connectivity Forum: EU-Asia Connectivity, the European Commission has recommended that the Council authorise the start of negotiations for an EU-Japan Agreement to allow the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data in order to prevent and combat terrorism and serious transnational crime. The Agreement will set out the framework and conditions for the exchange of PNR data, in full respect of data protection safeguards and fundamental rights, in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The EU and Japan are long standing strategic partners, including in the fight against terrorism and serious crime, as reaffirmed in the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in July 2018. The Partnership Agreement specifically encourages both parties to use “available tools, such as passenger name records to prevent and combat acts of terrorism and serious crimes”. The opening of negotiations for an EU-Japan PNR Agreement further highlights the key strategic partnership between the EU and Japan.
The Commission recommendation to start negotiations with Japan for the transfer of data of passengers flying between the EU and Japan will ensure that a future Agreement:
· Regulates the transfer and use of PNR data for the sole purpose of preventing and combating terrorism and other serious transnational crime;
· Sets out the necessary safeguards and controls with respect to the protection of personal data, fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, in line with the requirements set in the case law of the Court of Justice;
· Limits the access and processing of PNR data exclusively to the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorism and other serious transnational crime;
· Ensures the rights of effective administrative and judicial redress for passengers on a non-discriminatory basis.