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EU proposes terrorist database.

The European Union's head office recently proposed a Europe-wide database of criminal records for terrorists as part of efforts to improve cooperation between governments in the wake of the March 11 train bombings in Madrid.

The European Commission has scolded governments for dragging their heels in enacting anti-terrorism measures approved after the September 11, 2001, attacks and urged EU governments to set aside "bureaucratic and technical" hurdles.

Anti-terror proposals have caused friction between the EU's head office, European lawmakers, and the United States. A European Parliament committee voted against a commission deal allowing U.S. authorities to collect personal data on airline passengers, saying it undermined privacy rights. The United States has demand ed all airlines to provide passenger data--including credit card data and meal preferences--within 15 minutes of departure and threatened fines of up to $6,000 per passenger and the loss of landing rights for noncompliance.

The European Commission report proposed a register of suspected terrorists' convictions to help governments keep track of their activities and dry up their funds. It also urged countries to implement EU laws enabling courts across the EU to recognize confiscation orders issued in other EU states.

According to the New York Times, since 2001, the 15 EU governments have agreed in principle oil at least 10 different pan-European laws to corn bat terrorism, but implementation has been spotty. According to the Commission's report:

* Five nations must still enact European Arrest Warrant legislation.

* Three must still implement a common definition of terrorism and setting EU-wide minimum and maximum sentences for terrorists.

* Eleven of 15 states must still enact a law enabling police to make cross-border requests to intercept communications and monitor bank accounts.

* One state must still enact an accord on combating money laundering by tracing, freezing, seizing, and confiscating criminals' funds.

* Only nine EU states have enacted a deal on joint investigation teams from different EU nations tracing cross border criminal activities.
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Title Annotation:Up front: news, trends & analysis; European Union
Author:Swartz, Nikki
Publication:Information Management Journal
Geographic Code:4E
Date:May 1, 2004
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