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MEPs have rejected a demand from the European Green Party that urged EU governments to grant asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The move came during the adoption of a European Parliament committee inquiry into the NSA spying scandal.
As Claude Moraes, a centre-left British parliamentarian, explains, member states have the final say over who they allow to remain inside their borders.
“The European Union does not have the power to grant asylum as the European Union, so this is something for individual member states,” he told euronews. “And the issue of asylum within this report therefore does not become a relevant issue for the European Union.”
German Green MEP Jan-Philipp Albrecht criticised what he saw as the parliament’s lacklustre response to the NSA crisis.
“The European Parliament probably will just underline in its final report, that there is a threat to the success of free trade talks (EU-USA) if such massive monitoring of EU institutions and of European citizens continues. That’s not enough for me, but at least it’s a first step,” said Albrecht.
The report will be voted on by all MEPs at the body’s plenary session in Strasbourg next month.