The Hungarian President of the Republic has vetoed the ratification of the EU-US PNR Agreement

The Hungarian President of the Republic has referred the draft of the Act on ’Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security’ with his comments, to the Hungarian Parliament for reconsideration.

According to the Hungarian Constitution in this case the Parliament shall debate the law again and hold another vote on its passage. If adopted for the second time the President of the Republic is required to ratify and promulgate the law within a period of five days.

The main concern of the President was the unsatisfactory level of data protection provided by the Agreement. He believed that it is ambiguous whether the adequate level of protection for personal data is ensured, although it does not mean that the Agreement necessarily restricts, in an unconstitutional manner the protection of personal data. The President stressed that the Hungarian Act ratifying the Agreement shall make it clear: the guarantees of the Hungarian Data Protection Act are upheld. According to his proposal this requirement can be satisfied by the ratifying Act allowing the transfer of personal data only on condition of the data subject’s consent. This provision would not contravene the Agreement as it states ‘this Agreement is not intended to derogate from or amend legislation of the United States of America or the European Union or its Member States’.

Communique by the Office of the President of the Republic of Hungary
http://www.keh.hu/keh_en/communique_returned.html

The Hungarian Constitution (Article 26.)
http://www.mkab.hu/en/enpage5.htm

Act LXIII of 1992 on the Protection of Personal Data and Public Access to Data of Public Interest http://abiweb.obh.hu/dpc/legislation/1992_LXIIIa.htm

Draft of the Act on PNR Agreement (partially in English)
http://www.parlament.hu/irom38/01097/01097.pdf

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