European Union to confront US over bugging claims

The European Union will discuss "data protection and privacy rights" alongside trade talks with the United States next week.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Credit: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

But the head of the 28-nation bloc's executive commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said broader concerns about US intelligence activities would have to be raised by member states individually because they fall under the category of national security.

Reports last weekend that the US National Security Agency bugged EU diplomatic offices in Washington angered European officials and many leaders called for the NSA's surveillance activities to be discussed in parallel with trade talks opening next week in Washington.

Obama administration participants in the meeting will include officials from the Department of Justice and from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, a Justice Department spokesman said.