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European Union: New Anti-Terrorist Measures

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 4, 2007, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Franco Frattini, announced that the European Commission intends to unveil a package of measures to combat terrorism and terrorist organizations. A new initiative, modeled after similar U.S. requirements, calls for checking the personal data of air passengers coming from third countries to the European Union. The proposal requires airlines flying to the 27 EU Member States to furnish certain data to national security agencies. For the time being, flights within EU borders are excluded due to privacy concerns and issues of compatibility with the Schengen rules, which provide for passport-free movement within the EU. Currently, the Schengen area comprises 13 of the original 15 EU Member States (the exceptions being the United Kingdom and Ireland), plus Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. In 2008, nine more of the Member States brought into the EU by the 2004 enlargement will join Schengen; Cyprus is the only 2004 entrant not scheduled to take part. (Lucia Kubosova, Brussels Could Extend Anti-Terror Rules to EU Flights, EUOBSERVER.COM, Oct. 5, 2007.)