Data Retention Directive Passes Finishing Post

It was always a sure thing, but the Data Retention Directive finished its passage into law by being given the nod yesterday by the Council of Ministers.

Here’s an extract from the EU Observer, slating your thirst for EU infobumf

Ireland and Slovakia voted against the law, saying they regard national security as a matter for member states not the EU.

“This remains our position and we believe that provision for data retention should be made by way of a framework decision under the third pillar,” an Irish official indicated.

The third pillar is a technical term relating to intergovernmental decisions made by unanimity, while so-called first pillar decisions are typically made in conjunction with the European Parliament by qualified majority.

“In the circumstances, and for the legal reason I have indicated, we would merely wish to formally record…the fact that Ireland cannot support the adoption of the proposed directive,” he added.

Dublin insisted that Ireland retains its veto in justice matters, and is currently cosulting the Irish attorney general about how to proceed with an appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The ministry of justice in Slovakia said Bratislava agreed with the content of the directive but also objected to placing it under the first pillar.

Don’t get confused now- Ireland still want Data Retention brought in. And we want to hold the data for three years or more. We just don’t want to acknowledge that the European Parliament ought to have any part, no matter how ineffectual, in the procedure. This is because if it is kept within the Council of Ministers alone, we retain a veto power over the issues discussed. Whereas, if it is decided by Qualified Majority Voting, as happens where the EuroParl is in the picture, our puny votes count for less than a fish peeing in the Pacific.

Actually, we’d have a pretty good case to challenge this, as there has been recent caselaw on the Commission getting involved with things that doesn’t concern them that would seem to stand as a precedent in our favour. I’d link to it, but for the life of me I can’t remember off the top of my head what the hell it was about. Any suggestions in the comments.

Update: TJ McIntyre obliges in the comments
“The cases are C-317/04 and C-318/04, discussed at:

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