"Body-scanning technology is not a panacea" to fight civil aviation terror, said EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, addressing a debate in Parliament on this controversial technology on 10 February.
"A variety of combined and coordinated measures – intelligence, profiling, different search methods and international cooperation" is also needed, he added.
Commission Vice-President Kallas stressed that before moving forward with EU regulation on the issue, health and privacy issues need to be looked at very seriously and the added value of using body-scanning technology for airport security purposes must be assessed.
Meanwhile, full-body scanners were introduced last week at London's Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport. Italy and the Netherlands are also set to introduce them this month, but other EU countries like Belgium and Spain have opted to wait for a joint EU position on their use.
Assessing health, privacy issues
At the European Parliament's request, Vice-President Kallas will present an evaluation report covering security, health and privacy issues related to the technology in April.
"We need to cooperate with the US in the fight against terrorism, but any new tools to ensure the security of our citizens must be compatible with respect for fundamental rights and privacy, as established in the EU legislation," said MEP Simon Busuttil (EPP, Malta), a member of the House's committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs.
The April report will provide scientific evidence upon which to base any decision on whether to move ahead with EU-wide regulation on using body-scanning technology, or to leave regulating the use of the technology for airport security to member states, the EU executive said in a statement.
Commissioner Kallas believes "an EU framework would be better".