BERLIN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Germany is negotiating with other member states of the European Union (EU) on a European anti-espionage agreement, according to German media reports.
EU states have been discussing a deal to ban political and economic spying on each other for several months, reports said. They also agreed not to ask for citizens' data of other countries if it is forbidden under national laws.
Monitoring activities would only be allowed for the purposes of combating terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, according to the agreement.
A spokeswoman of the German government said Chancellor Angela Merkel announced measures to better protect privacy last summer, including an agreement on common standards for intelligence services of EU member states.
According to media reports, a broad agreement has been reached on the goals of the European spying ban, but there are differences concerning the deal's form.
Some countries, such as Britain, refused to sign a formal agreement. Member states are discussing whether it is possible to replace the formal agreement with a joint declaration.