Office of the Press Secretary
The White House, Washington, DC
June 25, 2003
U.S.-EU Summit: U.S.-EU Counterterrorism Cooperation
On June 25, 2003 at the U.S.-EU Summit in Washington, Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements were signed, giving police and prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic new tools for fighting terrorism and other serious crimes. These agreements are the latest result of U.S. -EU counterterrorism cooperation that has been close and productive in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks:
The U.S. has worked effectively with law enforcement authorities in EU member states to investigate suspected terrorists and terrorist groups. We have arrested and are prosecuting suspected terrorists, and have disrupted terrorist networks.
We are implementing U.S.-EUROPOL Agreements signed in December 2001 and in December 2002, which enable the exchange of trend and personal data on terrorism and terrorists between law enforcement authorities.
We coordinate closely on the designation of terrorist groups and the freezing of their assets. The EU has designated most of the groups and individuals listed by the U.S. for asset freezing, with the notable exceptions of the Hamas "political wing" (the "military wing" has been listed), and Hezbollah. The EU is now considering designating Hamas in its entirety, in recognition of that group's violent efforts to disrupt the Middle East peace process.
In January 2002, U.S. Customs launched the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to prevent global containerized cargo from being exploited by terrorists. The U.S. has bilateral CSI arrangements with eight EU member states and is working with the European Commission to reach a roadmap for future cooperation that will promote the prompt and successful implementation of CSI throughout Europe and increase the security of global trade.
To identify passengers that are possible terrorists and other serious criminal offenders the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration require access to airline Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. We are continuing discussions to reach a permanent solution which would allow uninterrupted access to PNR data from carriers that may be subject to the EU data privacy laws. We look forward to finding a solution that meets U.S. statutory and security needs as well as satisfies EU privacy concerns.