Commission Power Bid on Aviation Security Infuriates MEP

The European Commission is set to receive new powers to control areas of vital national security under plans approved by the European Parliament's Transport Committee yesterday. The proposals on Common Rules for Aviation Security look certain to cause a major row when they come before Parliament's plenary session in June. These proposals would effectively mean that the European Commission could veto plans for enhanced security measures at Britain's airports. Conservatives have led the opposition to this move as the EU should not be allowed to interfere in domestic security arrangements.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative Member of the Transport Committee in the European Parliament said today:

"With the heightened terrorist threats of today, aviation security is of the utmost importance. There are many benefits which can come from common rules across the European Union. However, the European Commission has again taken the approach that it knows best. The European Commission has no facility of national intelligence sharing - and neither should it have - meaning they have not the ability to carry out their new tasks. The Commission's role should be limited to co-ordinating and not dictating security measures.

"Adding insult to injury, it was proposed that the European Aviation Safety Agency should be given extra competencies to cover security. When this body was established, it was primarily for aircraft safety - a task at which they have yet to prove their worth. We have another example here where EU 'treaty creep' is seriously prejudicing national security rather than enhancing it."

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