Question for written answer
to the Commission Rule 117 Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE), Baroness Sarah Ludford (ALDE) and Marietje Schaake (ALDE) to the Commission. Subject: Impact of the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on the EU legal order On 16 December 2011 the US Congress adopted the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which, if signed into law, will potentially have a profound impact on the rights of EU citizens and companies, because of the following two provisions in particular: (1) the authorisation granted to the US army to detain anywhere, without trial, suspected members of Al-Qaeda or its allies, or those who ‘substantially supported’ them, pursuant to the authorisation enacted against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks; (2) the US President’s obligations to impose sanctions on any entity engaging in business with the Central Bank of Iran. 1. Is the Commission aware of the NDAA? 2. Can the Commission clarify, as a matter of urgency, what impact the NDAA, in particular the provisions highlighted above, may have on the rights of European citizens and businesses, and whether the NDAA, in particular the highlighted provisions, and the derived competences of the US army and authorities will potentially clash with EU legislation, international human rights treaties, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU Treaties? 3. Can the Commission clarify what the NDAA, in particular the provisions highlighted above, means for mutual legal assistance agreements between the EU and the US, and for bilateral agreements between EU Member States and the US, most notably the bilateral agreements in the context of the US Visa Waiver Programme? 4. How does the Commission view the impact of this US legislative act against the backdrop of intensified transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation? 5. How does the Commission view the impact of this act, given that the US has extensive access to personal data stored in Europe – as also addressed in the ALDE Oral Question ‘Extra-territorial impact of third-country legislation and EU data protection laws’ – in addition to data transferred to the US on the basis of transatlantic agreements, notably TFTP and PNR? 6. How does the Commission view the obligatory sanctions, and the nature of these sanctions, that are being imposed on EU companies in the US for engaging with the Central Bank of Iran? 7. Will the Commission take concrete action to address and confront the increasing impact of US legislation on the EU legal order, or even the direct application of US legislation on EU territory? If not, why not? Please find the answer here.