[TheIntercept] European Parliament Says Snowden Should Be Welcomed in Europe

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to call on its member states to welcome “human rights defender” Edward Snowden to Europe with open arms. [...]

The resolution is a purely symbolic move, with no legal weight. Although a majority of the Parliament voted in favor, the body has only an advisory role in the European Union’s complicated system of governance — and no direct control over its member states. [...]

The language adopted on Thursday also requests that a study of whistleblower protections be conducted in the European Union, and that there be more direct protections for whistleblowers and journalists alike. [...]

Meanwhile, however, heightened surveillance laws are being approved in various European countries, including France, the U.K. and the Netherlands. Just this week, the French Senate passed an international surveillance law that would allow French spy agencies to indiscriminately collect foreigners’ communications.