February 26, 2008
Most Americans, if they think about the European Parliament at all, probably imagine a bunch of left-wing backbenchers goofing off in Brussels or Strasbourg with little of value to say on international security. But Americans may have to update their opinion — and their approach to transatlantic cooperation — now that the European Parliament has made a most unparliamentary gesture: blocking a deal on sharing bank data with the United States. U.S. policymakers saw this deal as a cornerstone of international counterterrorism efforts, but now, those efforts are on hold. The EU Parliament’s move is a sign that it wants to be a player in transatlantic security decisions — and the United States will just have to accept it.