Seeking to strike a balance between US President George W. Bush’s campaign against terrorism with European privacy protection, the EU and US reached a new deal on 6 October 2006 concerning the disclosure of extensive personal information about travellers on flights to the US.
A previous agreement on data sharing, widely criticised as being incompatible with European law, expired on 30 September, leaving the airlines that operate flights between the EU-25 and the US in limbo.
Franco Frattini, the European commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini described the final session leading to the deal as “nine hours of very strong negotiations” held by videoconference across the Atlantic.
But civil rights groups and MEPs claim that the deal still does not do enough to protect citizens’ rights in the event of information abuse or error. Concerning immigration, ministers pledged to speed plans drafted by Frattini to create permanent "rapid border intervention teams" with boats, planes and experts and a Mediterranean coastal patrol network. Frattini added that the budget and staff of the EU's external borders agency, Frontex, which runs joint patrols off Africa's Atlantic Coast and in the central Mediterranean, would be increased.
Justice and interior ministers also committed their individual nations to informing one another if they plan to grant mass amnesties to migrants – the first big steps toward a cohesive European policy on illegal immigration, which has become a priority.