Going to Mexico after July 1st?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
© Dan Sperrin

© Dan Sperrin

Last week in the European parliament, representatives discussed the long delays in agree the transfer of PNR data (personal name record) to Mexico. Why?
Because the Mexicans have become so fed up with the delays which are laid at the door of the EU that they have said that from July 1st, every flight on EU based airlines would be fined $30,000 if those airlines didn’t hand over PNR data.
Potentially, the fees could run into millions in quite a short time. In practice, airlines would probably suspend flights. In reality some fudge would be found as neither the EU nor Mexico cannot afford to let this crazy state of affairs to come to pass.
Without getting into the debate about whether this sort of data (name, contact details, food preferences, disability issues, next of kin etc should be transferred to governments because governments feel that it would be useful information in combating potential terrorists, why is it that the talks have taken so long to get anywhere?
One representative, Sophia In t’Veld, from the Netherlands accused the EU commission of sitting on its hands. (She, incidentally, seems to be on a list in the USA that demands she receives additional screening when she visits the US.) Dimitrios Avramopoulos who is the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship says – and most MEP’s that spoke in the debate seemed to agree with him that we should wait until the European Court of Justice had ruled on the legality of the agreement about providing PNR data to Canada. That ruling isn’t expected before the end of the year. (Why isn’t this being handled by the commissioner in charge of data protection, Věra Jourová, rather than the home affairs commssioner? Because the EU sees this issue as a security issue rather than one of privacy?)
No MEP pointed out that it is the slow working of the Court that is delaying things. Why should the courts take so long? Is it a shortage of judges or the bureaucracy? It has taken five years to get the Canadian agreement to this stage. If Russia, South Korea, Brazil, Japan, Argentina and Indonesia amongst others are all queueing up to get similar deals, we will be here until doomsday sorting this out.
Why should I care?
Will passengers suffer? Not really, we’ll just be inconvenienced a little and might have to visit Mexico via the USA or Canada where agreements between those countries and Mexico don’t have to exist. And how will that trumpet the aim of the EU to protect the privacy data of it’s citizens?

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