EU may take action against Czech-US memorandum of understanding

27-02-2008

The European Commission has said it has not ruled out taking legal action against the Czech Republic for unilaterally signing a memorandum of understanding with the United States that is a first step towards the Czech Republic being included in the US visa waiver programme. The Commission has expressed concern that the memorandum might include a promise to provide sensitive personal data on people travelling to the US, which went beyond EU policy.

Left-wing Communist and Social Democrat MPs have also said they are unhappy with the personal data requirements in the document and say the government should have consulted more closely with the EU on the issue.

For his part, Czech prime minister Mirek Topolánek has said that the memorandum should enable the Czech Republic to finally achieve its longstanding ambition to join the US visa waiver programme later this year and that the arrangement could serve as a model for other EU countries.