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European Scrutiny Committee recommends urgent debate on Aviation Security

28 October 2016

The Commission has put forward a proposed Regulation to set up a legally-binding certification procedure for types of screening equipment used at airports in the EU. This has the worthy aim of enabling a wider choice of certified airport security screening equipment to reach the EU-wide market more quickly than at present.

It could aid innovation. However, the Committee is concerned that:

  • It is unclear from the Regulation itself whether Member States would be permitted to apply higher security standards for aviation equipment (“More Stringent Measures”) (permissible under the Civil Aviation Security Regulation);
  • The Commission's assumption that Member States would not voluntarily improve upon their existing cooperation at national level on the testing of equipment is questionable; and
  • The benefits of EU action might be undermined by the risk to confidential data associated with the equipment and related procedures and by the cost and bureaucracy involved for Member States in setting up certification processes and bodies. 

For these reasons the Committee has recommended that the House considers whether to issue a Reasoned Opinion against the proposal, based on the subsidiarity principle, which requires that the EU should only legislate if Member States themselves cannot sufficiently achieve the policy in question and it can be better achieved by the EU in terms of both scope and impact. (The French National Assembly has already issued its own Reasoned Opinion.) As the deadline for issuing such an Opinion is 3 November, this report is being issued urgently. 

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