EU’s struggle to stop U.S. in-flight laptop ban

EPA / SERGEI CHIRIKOV

An Airbus A350 performs at the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2015 in the city of Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, 25 August 2015.

EU’s struggle to stop U.S. in-flight laptop ban


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One day before EU and U.S. officials meet in Brussels, the European Commission applies pressure to Washington to stop unilateral ban of laptop in airliner cabins.

Passengers could be forced to keep their laptops off cabin soon when flying from Europe to America if the U.S. administration decides to extend to Europe March’s ban on electronic devices larger than mobile phones.

This decision requires passengers to put the devices into checked baggage and was taken amid concerns that jihadist groups were devising bombs disguised as batteries in consumer electronics items.

Commissioner for Security Union Julian King and Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos both appeared worried in a Strasbourg press conference, underlining that decisions should be unilateral.

Wednesday’s EU-U.S. meeting is expected to help soothe things, as both sides will exchange more information, following up earlier discussions, in order to adopt a common policy. An EU official told New Europe the meeting was organised during emergency talks last Friday via a conference call. European Commission officials, among which Commissioner Avramopoulos and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc joined and U.S. Secretary of State for Homeland Security, John Kelly.

The EU-U.S. officials are now expected to take it from there. However, nod EU official could confirm that it will be Kelly attending Wednesday’s meeting.

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