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The interior ministries of Estonia and Finland are about to explore ways to step up controls on ship passengers analogously with the European Union decision regarding flight passengers

"We agreed to organize in the near future an expert-level meeting to discuss ensuring of the security of ship travel and exchanges of passenger information," secretary general of the Estonian Interior Ministry Lauri Lugna told BNS after meeting with his Finnish colleague on Friday.

"The aim is to increase the aspect of security without making concessions on the speed and convenience of travel," he added.

The European Parliament on Thursday approved sharing of air passenger data among EU member states to fight terrorism. The vote was the culmination of five years of debate on whether the creation of the Passenger Name Record (PNR) system was consistent with protection of privacy.

According to Lugna monitoring of ship passenger data is only in the initial phase and at present ideas are being collected.

Estonia was on Friday visited by the administrative director of the Finnish Interior Ministry, Paivi Nerg, who familiarized herself also with Estonia's central rescue system, the call center of the alarm center and the Academy of Security Sciences.

Finland is reforming its rescue sector and Nerg was interested in the Estonian experience, Lugna said.

(Source: http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=119570)


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