By Marcin Grajewski
BRUSSELS, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The European Parliament may approve a disputed deal with the United States on sharing bank data in the fight against terrorism if it is promised a say in future talks on the issue, parliamentary sources said.
The EU legislature’s civil liberties committee rejected an interim agreement on sharing data on cross-border bank transfers on the grounds that it failed to protect the privacy of European Union citizens. Washington says access to the information is crucial to combat terrorist financing.
But the full assembly may ratify the pact in a vote due on Thursday if EU governments and the European Commission guarantee that the parliament will be allowed an unprecedented role in negotiations on a future, permanent agreement.
“The parliament wants to have access to negotiations on the issue from the very early stages,” a parliamentary source said.
Parliament President Jerzy Buzek conveyed this message on Monday in a letter to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose country holds the EU presidency in the first half of 2010.