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EU president wants lawmakers to fast-track airline data sharing after Paris attack

Air France planes parked on the tarmac at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, on September 17, 2014. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

RIGA, Latvia – The deadly attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris underscores the need for an airline data sharing proposal that has been blocked by EU lawmakers, European Union President Donald Tusk said Friday.

Tusk told reporters in Riga he would urge the European Parliament next week to speed up work on the proposal, which would allow police and intelligence agencies to access several years of data of passengers travelling in and out of the EU.

“I hope it can help in detecting the travel of dangerous people. It’s very important, especially after the tragic attack in Paris,” Tusk said.

The European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm, has promoted the measure as a tool to help combat terrorism and serious crimes but Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has blocked it on privacy concerns.

European Union leaders will put the terror attack in France at the top of their agenda when they meet on Feb. 12. Tusk, who spoke to French President Francois Hollande on Thursday, said he decided to use the meeting “to discuss more broadly the response the EU can bring to these challenges.”

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“Terror has struck in Europe, not for the first time. The EU cannot do everything but can concentrate on strengthening security,” Tusk said.

Associated Press writer Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this report.

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