University of Miami National Security & Armed Conflict Law Review

Document Type



In Fall 2011, U.S. and EU negotiators agreed on new parameters for the collection, processing, use, storage and crossborder transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. 2011 also marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., which provides the historic reason for the cooperation in this area. These two events thus provide a timely basis and background against which to review the ten year history of the cooperation between the U.S. and the EU in PNR information management.

This article maps the evolution of collaboration between the U.S. and the EU with respect to the PNR program by presenting the major dimensions involved. Moreover, it provides a comprehensive framework with a particular focus on the constant struggle for a consistent EU policy as well as the creation of the U.S.-EU Agreements in 2004 and 2007. It furthermore sketches major legal and political developments that have most likely had a significant impact on the negotiations and are, as a consequence, reflected in the concrete design of the new PNR Agreement. All this leads the author to the conclusion that——as thoroughly as it may have been designed and as complete as it may seem——the new PNR Agreement will not be the end of the transatlantic PNR saga, but rather the beginning of another intriguing chapter.