Nieuws-items bij De werkwijze van de Amerikanen is ...
Representatives of the EU and the US discussed means to facilitate the exchange of personal data and, at the same time, guarantee an adequate protection of these data. Different ways of approaching the question of protecting personal data in the EU and the US have made the exchange of data difficult.
-I am convinced that increased knowledge of the other party's data protection principles and practices will in the future make it easier to find solutions to possible problems involved in the exchange of data, says the Finnish Minister of Justice, Ms Leena Luhtanen.
In addition to Minister Luhtanen, the European Union was represented at the meeting by the Minister of the Interior, Mr Kari Rajamäki and the Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner Franco Frattini. The United States was represented by the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Other participants in the meeting were the President of Eurojust, Michael Kennedy and the Director of Europol, Max-Peter Ratzel.
The meeting aimed at examining how problems arising from the different systems of the EU and the US can be solved. Now the meeting agreed to continue to study alternative solutions and to appoint a common contact group. The EU is prepared to enter into efficient judicial cooperation, even though it might be some time before the right solution has been found.
-Drawing on common values, we can find the right balance between ensuring security and law enforcement on the one hand and protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms on the other hand, Luhtanen stated.
A cooperation agreement between Eurojust and the United States was also signed in Washington. The agreement will significantly facilitate cooperation between the prosecuting and investigating authorities.
-Eurojust is an important tool in the fight against terrorism and other cross-border crime. There is an apparent need for improved coordination between the competent authorities of the EU and the US in the examination of such crimes, Luhtanen said.
Eurojust has excellent experience from a corresponding arrangement with Norway. The agreement enables the prosecuting and investigating authorities in the EU and the US to hold common meetings where, for instance, data regarding cases under evaluation of charges can be dealt with. This agreement, too, contains several provisions aiming at guaranteeing sufficient data protection as well as a smooth exchange of data. Eurojust is an EU body which aims to improve cooperation between prosecutors in the EU countries and promote coordination of transnational investigation and prosecution measures.
Additional information: EU Coordinators Matti Joutsen, phone +358 9 160 677 78, gsm +358 50 374 0497 and Sebastian Sass, phone +358 9 160 675 20, gsm +358 50 525 2672 and Director General Pekka Nurmi, phone +358 9 160 676 70, gsm +358 50 514 8755, e-mail: email@example.com