Donate $25 for two DVDs of the Cryptome collection of files from June 1996 to the present

Natsios Young Architects

26 September 1998

Source: Duncan Campbell. See his reporting on Echelon:

See related multi-lingual European Parliament debate on ECHELON:

See related news reports:

MINUTES OF THE EP 14 September 1998

17. Transatlantic relations (ECHELON)

B4-0803, 0805, 0806 and 0809/98

Resolution on transatlantic relations/ECHELON system

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its resolution of 15 January 1998 on transatlantic trade and economic relations(32),

- having regard to the Commission communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee on a New Transatlantic Market,

- having regard to the conclusions of the EU-US Summit in London (18 May 1998),

A. considering the importance of defending and sharing the same values in the new era of globalisation,

B. pointing out that transatlantic relations are the most intense in the world, both at political and economic level,

C. whereas the progress and deepening of EU/US relations will lead to an increase in political and economic stability,

D. recalling the strong stand Parliament has taken concerning the extraterritorial effects of the Helms-Burton and d'Amato Acts,

E. aware of the recent interim study "An appraisal of technologies of political control" produced by the STOA unit for the Civil Liberties Committee,

1. Stresses the importance of EU-US relations, which are based on common economic, political and security interests, as well as a common perception of responsibilities and needs at world level;

2. Considers that common political objectives include promoting peace, stability, democracy and development, as well as responding to global challenges through enhanced cooperation;

3. Recalls that the transatlantic economic relationship is underpinned by the most important trade and economic links in the world, and that the EU and the US have the world's largest and most complex economic relationship;

4. Welcomes the highly significant achievements obtained within the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) and recognized in the statement agreed at the EU-US summit; in this context, the Transatlantic Economic Partnership (TEP) would constitute a key instrument for developing the bilateral relationship;

5. Considers that the prospective agreement, to be negotiated within the TEP, in particular on mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) and "equivalent standards" on government procurement and on intellectual property should drastically reduce bilateral conflicts on regulatory matters, and induce a process of "regulatory convergence";

6. Supports the People-to-People initiative which, through its fostering of contacts in the business world, makes an important contribution to dismantling barriers in transatlantic trade;

7. Stresses however that US extraterritorial legislation, and in particular the Helms-Burton and d'Amato Acts, remain unacceptable to the European Union; asks the US Congress to act speedily in order to eliminate such legislation and, in any case, to grant the waivers requested;

8. Asks to be fully informed about the implications of the Understanding with respect to further negotiations of the MAI, as the Understanding codifies some of the core principles of the MAI project, such as expropriation and compensation;

9. Welcomes the joint declaration issued by the Delegation for relations between the European Parliament and the US Congress on the strengthening of interparliamentary dialogue in order to develop a balanced and mutually advantageous transatlantic partnership; considers therefore that existing interparliamentary exchanges should be greatly reinforced;

10. Recognises the vital role of international cooperation with regard to electronic surveillance in stopping and preventing the activities of terrorists, drug traffickers and organised criminals;

11. Further recognises, however, the vital importance of having democratically accountable systems of control with respect to the use of these technologies and the information obtained;

12. Asks for such surveillance technologies to be subject to proper open debate both at national and EU level as well as procedures which ensure democratic accountability;

13. Calls for the adoption of a code of conduct in order to ensure redress in case of malpractice or abuse;

14. Considers that the increasing importance of the Internet and worldwide telecommunications in general and in particular the Echelon System, and the risks of their being abused, require protective measures concerning economic information and effective encryption;

15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the US Congress.

[16-17 not provided]

18. Transatlantic relations/ECHELON system (statement with debate)

Mr Bangemann, Member of the Commssion, proposed to split the debate in two and made a statement on transatlantic relations following the 18 May 1998 EU-US summit; he said that he would speak on the second subject at a later stage.

Mrs Mann spoke on behalf of the PSE Group.


The following spoke: Mr Salafranca Snchez-Neyra, on behalf of the PPE Group, Mrs Plooij-van Gorsel, on behalf of the ELDR Group, Mr Pompidou, on behalf of the UPE Group, Mrs Moreau, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group, Mrs Schröling, on behalf of the V Group, Mr Sainjon, on behalf of the ARE Group, Mr Souchet, on behalf of the I-EDN Group, Mr Blot, Non-attached Member, Mr Seppänen, Mr Lannoye, Mr Voggenhuber, who also objected to the decision by Mr Bangemann to split his statement in two, and Mr Bangemann, who first answered questions raised during the debate and then spoke on the second subject, making a statement on the use of monitoring techniques in the field of communications (Echelon system).

The President had received motions for resolutions pursuant to Rule 37(2) from the following Members:

- Pasty, Van Bladel and Pompidou, on behalf of the UPE Group, on the implementation of the new transatlantic agenda (B4-0803/98);

- Plooij-van Gorsel, on behalf of the ELDR Group, on transatlantic relations following the 18 May 1998 EU-US summit and the use of monitoring techniques in the field of communication (ECHELON system)(B4-0805/98);

- Alan J. Donnelly, E. Mann and Ford, on behalf of the PSE Group, on transatlantic relations and the ECHELON system (B4-0806/98);

- Castellina, Ainardi, Marset Campos, Gutiérrez Díaz, Carnero González, Manisco, Alavanos, Seppänen and Miranda, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group, on transatlantic relations and the use of monitoring technology in the communications sector (ECHELON system)(B4-0807/98);

- Souchet, on behalf of the I-EDN Group, on transatlantic relations and the ECHELON system (B4-0808/98);

- Valdivielso de Cué and Kittelmann, on behalf of the PPE Group, on transatlantic relations (B4-0809/98);

- Sainjon, on behalf of the ARE Group, on transatlantic relations and the Echelon system (B4-0813/98);

- Roth, Voggenhuber, McKenna, Kerr, Kreissl-Dörfler and Lannoye, on ECHELON and transatlantic relations (B4-0814/98).

The following spoke: Mrs Mann, Mr Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra and Mr Bangemann, firstly on Rule 37, and then to answer questions raised.

The President closed the debate.

Vote: 12.00 on Wednesday.


10. Transatlantic relations/ECHELON (vote)

Motions for resolutions B4-0803, 0805, 0806, 0807, 0808, 0809, 0813, 0814/98
(Simple majority)

The following spoke:

- Mr Dell'Alba, who asked for the reference to Echelon to be removed from the title of the joint motion as he claimed it did not appear anywhere else in the text (the President replied that the title would be adapted to the content of the resolution);

- Mr Pompidou, who disagreed with this request on the grounds that there was a connection between the economic problems referred to in the text and the Echelon system;

- Mrs Roth, on behalf of the V Group, who first asked for separate votes on ams. 4, 12 and 13 and then pointed out a mistake in the conduct of the vote on the Schaffner report (A4-0108/98) because her group had requested an RCV on the final vote (the President replied that his staff had informed him that they had made a mistake: he apologised for this to Mrs Roth).

- MOTIONS FOR RESOLUTIONS B4-0803, 0805, 0806, 0809/98:

. joint motion for a resolution tabled by the following Members:
Alan J. Donnelly and Erika Mann, on behalf of the PSE Group
Valdivielso de Cué and Kittelmann, on behalf of the PPE Group
Pasty, Van Bladel and Pompidou, on behalf of the UPE Group
Plooij-van Gorsel, on behalf of the ELDR Group

to replace these motions with a new text:

Amendments adopted: 4 by EV (342 for, 176 against, 4 abstentions); 12 by EV (269 for, 211 against, 41 abstentions); 13

Amendments rejected: 6; 7; 8; 9; 1 to 3 collectively; 5; 10; 11; 14 to 16 collectively

The different parts of the text were adopted in order.

Separate votes: ams 4, 12 and 13.

Parliament adopted the resolution (Part II, Item 17).

(Motions for resolutions B4-0807, 0808, 0813 and 0814/98 fell.)

Mrs Roth, with reference to the President's reply concerning the final vote on the Schaffner report and to the fact that the staff responsible had admitted that there had been a mistake, asked for the vote to be taken again by RCV (the President replied that attendance in the Chamber was no longer what it had been at the time of the vote and that this requested could therefore not be granted).

[End minutes]