03 SEP 2010
By Tom Brady | Irish Independent
IRELAND has forced the withdrawal of a controversial EU plan to allow Israel access to sensitive personal data on Irish citizens.
The proposal was taken off the table at a European Commission meeting in Brussels yesterday following an objection lodged by the Government.
The Irish representative, a senior official from the Department of Justice, had intended to vote against the proposal at the meeting.
But as the talks got under way yesterday morning, the commission indicated that the proposal was being withdrawn because of the concerns raised by the Irish.
In Dublin yesterday Justice Minister Dermot Ahern admitted that he had been somewhat surprised by the commission's decision, but said it was recognition of the good work that had been done by his officials since he had first highlighted the concerns at a meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in July.
He said the Irish objection was justified in the wake of the discovery that agents of the Israeli state had tampered with the details on Irish passports.
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Data sharing plan with Israel dropped after Irish objections (EUobserver)