Controversy about airport security controls

Article published on June 9, 2008
Article published on June 9, 2008
The European Parliament is against the ropes because of a current citizen (David Raya, from Hospitalet de Llobregat, 1981) suffering from cystic fibrosis. It all started at Berlin Airport when the German police did not allow Mr Raya to board a plane with his 40 daily doses of medicines which he needs to have his illness under control.
The reason for this was lack of legislation of secret regulations from European Directive 1546/2006, which strengthened security rules at airports.

Annoyed by this experience and by having to tell the tale over and over again whenever he had to take a plane, Mr Raya decided to make a request for the derogation or modification of the European Parliament Directive. The story has had a widespread effect in Barcelona’s newspapers and also among Catalan Euro MPs, no matter which party they belong to.

Months ago, Catalan Euro MP Ignasi Guardans (CiU) showed his disagreement after refusing to take his shoes off in a security control at Barcelona Airport last December. Then Mr Guardans said “airports cannot become a stronghold where some uniformed people can act freely and arbitrarily”.

Citizen organisations -such as have also showed people’s growing discomfort with rules that create arbitrary decisions in airport security controls, such as forcing passengers to take their shoes off.

Both cases reveal the need for European and domestic parliaments to rethink on the impact that legislation against terrorism has upon civil rights. These European directives are not far away from the so highly criticised American Patriot Act.

Translated by Martí Purull