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EU Parliament Rejects Asylum For Snowden 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-don't-have-to-go-home-but-you-can't-stay-here dept.
cold fjord writes "Euronews reports, '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."'"
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EU Parliament Rejects Asylum For Snowden

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  • Reject? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbone (558574) on Friday February 14, 2014 @12:02AM (#46243221)

    They didn't reject it (or not). They are unable to grant it, so the issue is moot.

    • Re:Reject? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bazmonkey (555276) on Friday February 14, 2014 @12:07AM (#46243237)
      Agreed. There's a distinct difference between rejecting a request because one does not agree, versus because one cannot acquiesce in the first place.

      Man: Give me $1,000,000.

      Me: I don't have $1,000,000.

      Would it be fair to say I rejected the man's request for financial help?
      • Re:Reject? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmai l . c om> on Friday February 14, 2014 @02:25AM (#46243583) Homepage

        According to the article snip-it here on /.? Yes. You're also a bottom feeding 1% who doesn't feel for the little guy.

      • Yes, you cheap bastard. At least write him an IOU!

      • Agreed. There's a distinct difference between rejecting a request because one does not agree, versus because one cannot acquiesce in the first place.

        The EU did both in this action.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          No it didn't. The EU can't do both, that's the whole point. It is simply not within the EU's jurisdiction to grant EU-wide asylum requests, and although the EU is welcome to give an opinion on the matter of whether or not individual member states should grant asylum to Snowden, they did not in fact do so.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes up to each member, so that will have to be worked out by each country depending on their laws and mil dependance the USA.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        If you read the whole summary, you might get a clue as to why it is up to each member country (hint: the EU can't force a member country to grant someone asylum, would you expect that they should?).
    • Re:Reject? (Score:4, Informative)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Friday February 14, 2014 @02:10AM (#46243545)

      They didn't reject it (or not). They are unable to grant it, so the issue is moot.

      No, they actually did reject calling for it in a nonbinding resolution, and they can't force it. (And I find it somewhat odd that they can't force it given the other actions that the EU imposes on its members from time to time.)

      MEPs say No to Snowden asylum in Europe [euobserver.com]

      A European Parliament committee on Wednesday (12 February) voted against calling for asylum protection for former US intelligence agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      • Well, the issue of asylum is just something the member states have not allowed the EU final authority over. That said, you're right that they might have issued a non binding directive in this case, but in majority voted against. Which is regrettable, I think, but possibly was the right thing to do (even if for all the wrong reasons). Individual member states are much easier to bully into submission, and don't think for a minute that some of the people out to get Snowden would think twice about that.

    • IETF rejects demand for asylum for Snowden

      In a surprise move today, the IETF (also known as the Elders of the Internet) rejected a demand from IT professionals that Edward Snowden be granted asylum everywhere that has an internet uplink. While Snowden has gained widespread support from concerned IT professionals, the IETF indicated that it was incompatible with their goals.

      'The IETF is committed to creating strong standards and RFCs for internet-related tasks,' they wrote. 'It is neither in our interest n

    • by jopsen (885607)
      Many things in the EU is actually just statements, so they rejected a statement calling for member countries to grant asylum,
      Such, statements have no legal implication or effect, but it is a very strong political message to send.

      If they had decided to do this, they would essentially have endorsed Snodowns actions. It would also be a strong message to send the US, saying that the EU is willing to help people who stand up to the criminal activities conducted by the US government.
      Yes, spying is illegal! it
  • by msauve (701917) on Friday February 14, 2014 @12:13AM (#46243251)
    "We'll punt." (not sure how well that phrase carries to Europe)
    • by hubie (108345)
      It isn't punting if they don't have the authority to grant it in the first place.
    • Don't the British punt on a body of water, e.g. punting on the Thames?

      • by zmollusc (763634)

        Well, a punt is too heavy to carry (irish people may argue with this) so floating it on water is the obvious way to move it around. You could fit wheels to it, i suppose, but then it would be more of a cart.

      • by icebike (68054)

        Don't the British punt on a body of water, e.g. punting on the Thames?

        El Reg uses the term punters for subscribers or customers paying for a service, like monthly phone bills.
        Like much of english slang, I have no clue where that came from.

        • Don't the British punt on a body of water, e.g. punting on the Thames?

          El Reg uses the term punters for subscribers or customers paying for a service, like monthly phone bills.
          Like much of english slang, I have no clue where that came from.

          Actually, in its original intent of that use of the word, it meant a gambler. Someone placing a wager or risking a hazard of some sort For example, by sponsoring something). Which probably says something about customer service these days since it now gets used to refer to customers.

          It has been suggested that the word is related to "ponder", since wagering is something that hopefully one does only after consideration.

  • Not united enough (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680)

    That's the problem with the EU: the member states have far too much power still so the EU can not function as one entity in matters like this. This gives enormous problems who come in shiploads to Italy for instance.

    • by icebike (68054)

      That's the problem with the EU: the member states have far too much power still so the EU can not function as one entity in matters like this. This gives enormous problems who come in shiploads to Italy for instance.

      Or its the sole saving grace of the EU.

      I suppose if tyranny is your cup of tea, a continental directorate would be more to your taste. A world wide one would be Nirvana.

      • The tyranny! They restricted the amount of salt our bread can have! We must rise against them if we are to have any hope of being free!

        They imposed the use of SI units! Tyrants! We must rise up against their neo-imperialist units!

        They forced everyone to use the same emergency number! The nerve! Now we can't have an emergency number different than those of other countries! This is an attack on our freedom!

        *End euroskeptic impression*

        You people fit perfectly in Life of Brian's "What have the Romans done for u

    • by Viol8 (599362)

      "the member states have far too much power"

      So you have a poster of Stalin on your wall at home? The member states have LOST too much power which has been ceded to a lot of unelected beaurocrats in brussels. So much for democracy.

      "so the EU can not function as one entity in matters like this"

      Good. At least not all of us will have to suffer the consequences of all the left wing bleeding heart socialists that brussels is infested with.

      • How about you vote in European elections instead of staying at home?

        Unelected...

        Hitler was elected and that worked out very well... /s

      • by ultranova (717540)

        "the member states have far too much power"

        So you have a poster of Stalin on your wall at home?

        This is modern times. You can presume he has a digital pane which can display an icon of evil that best stereotypes opposition to your political ideals in your mind. However, we might wish to extend beyond mere mortals - has anyone mapped Azathoth [wikipedia.org] on the political compass?

        At least not all of us will have to suffer the consequences of all the left wing bleeding heart socialists that brussels is infested with.

        I ho

    • by daem0n1x (748565)

      That's the problem with the EU: the member states have far too much power

      I'm Portuguese. If the EU had any more power, I'd be in a chain gang, slaving for Germany.

      • I'm Portuguese too. If the EU had any more power, people like you wouldn't even think of such ridiculous rhetoric.

        Don't blame others for our problems, we caused them. And we sure as hell won't get rid of them if people like you insist on blaming others.

  • You have the mil NATO side of many EU members who have totally connected their domestic telcos to the storage and computing power of 5 competing nations (and a few more).
    Kind of hard for the EU to compete in a global marketplace if the US gov is given all data in realtime :)
    Then you have the post WW2 refugee commitments and protection laws.
    How does the EU make it all work out after Snowdens EU telco related whistleblowing?
    "NSA inquiry: what experts revealed to MEPs" has some hints:
    http://cryptome.org/ [cryptome.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They didn't reject it. In fact, they said they want to give it, but the law doesn't allow them to. The want to, but they can't. The liars at Fox News of course claim his request was rejected. It was not.

  • Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Friday February 14, 2014 @01:22AM (#46243433)

    If the EU granted asylum where would Snowden live? The EU has no land; It's constituent sovereign nations have the land. For Snowden to live somewhere the country would need to accept him which makes the acceptance by EU a moot point. What if the EU gave him asylum but some of the constituent countries disagreed? Could the EU override the decisions of a sovereign country on a political issue?

    Some people have an issue with the EU acting too much like an overriding country. If the EU gave asylum it would be acting like such a country.

    • Re:Where? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597) on Friday February 14, 2014 @04:36AM (#46243825) Homepage

      "Could the EU override the decisions of a sovereign country on a political issue?"

      You obviously don't live in the EU. The answer, unfortunately, is "yes".

      • The answer, unfortunately, is "yes".

        Why is this unfortunate?

        • by ledow (319597)

          Which of the thousand examples do you want?

          The UK did not want to give the vote to prisoners. They voted against it through to the EU courts.

          The EU said they had to.

          Now they have to.

          Immigration is the one in the news at the moment. We pretty much have to allow any EU member's civilians (including the new members and future member) to settle in the country without question and it's ILLEGAL for us to impose immigration limits or demands on them (such as proving they have a skill / job / money / etc. like yo

          • Now they have to.

            Ah yes, the old ECHR thing. The police also decided they wanted to have everyone's DNA in perpetuitiy for no other reason that they're a bunch of authoratarian dickheads. Appatently now they are not allowed to.

            because the EU say so.

            Because we agreed to cede authority to the EU over such things in order to join the EU. We can always leave: the EU cannot force us to stay. The thing is the labour government massively fucked up over that one, in otder to try to prove some sort of strange point.

          • It boils down to this:

            The EU stands for a number of non-optional principles. You can't cherry pick.

            The incentive for upholding those principles is the common market.

            If you want the advantages, you must live with the perceived disadvantages.

            Honestly, I think it's pure xenophobia to advocate restrictions on movement within the EU. Unfortunately, xenophobia seems to be back in vogue these days.

            The real problem is trying to blame others for your problems (I mean this in general, not you personally). While that

          • Which of the thousand examples do you want?

            The UK did not want to give the vote to prisoners. They voted against it through to the EU courts.

            The prisoner voting thing was a decision by the European Court of Human Rights [bbc.co.uk], which is not an EU institution. If you want to criticize the EU, please inform yourself a bit better first.

            Regarding immigration: yes, you have to let those foreigners in because that's what your government agreed to after a democratic process. In fact, the UK has traditionally been one of the biggest supporters of freedom of movement...

          • by severn2j (209810)
            As our (UK) government seems so insistent on passing laws to undermine any sort of civil liberty we may have had and basically falling over itself to be the US's lapdog, while alienating us from the rest of the world, it seems to me that the EU is our best chance for undoing some of that damage. They may not be very good, but there a damn sight better than our government (including the opposition parties).
        • Re:Where? (Score:4, Informative)

          by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:08AM (#46244295)

          It would seem that some people find it hard to understand why any sovereign nation would subject it's decisions to peer review and subject itself to blanket over-arching authority. Speaking from a UK perspective, this is completely understandable given the experience most people have.

          While some EU regulations have had direct consequences for the masses both positive and negative (eg: metric-only selling practices, declaration of human rights) there has been a tendency in the media to wildly exaggerate (and in some cases completely fabricate) some of the things coming out of the EU's regulatory system (eg: Bombay Mix must be called Mumbai Mix, all EU member states must use the EU flag for their sports teams) while under-reporting the retraction of some of the sillier ones (eg: cucumbers must be straight, limits on how bent bananas can be). However, there is no smoke without fire and some of the EU's enforced regulations are truly head-scratching (eg: bottled water packaging cannot claim to combat dehydration, diabetics banned from driving*).

          An interesting case is the media and political representation of the European Declaration of Human Rights. It is frequently portrayed as a way for criminals to either evade punishment or force the provision of luxuries (eg: TV, porn) in prison. However, it also states that prisoners should be allowed to vote in elections, a right the UK denies it's prisoners who account for 0.0015% of the overall population, so granting them voting rights in accordance with the declaration would make no measurable difference to the overall elections but may have some effect on local elections where adding the prison population to the electorate could cause a significant political swing and require consideration during a campaign. The media represented this as a further attempt by the EU to soften the punishment prison was supposed to be and politicians couldn't agree to this without fearing they appeared soft on crime to the electorate. When issues are this muddied by the agendas of politicians and media outlets, it's very difficult to accurately gauge the true effect of the declaration

          As an intelligent human being taking a scientific approach to the governance decisions of the country, I would refrain from making any judgement call on whether EU membership has been an overall positive or negative thing for the UK as the debate has been skewed by the media's misrepresentation and used by politicians to score political points with particular demographics. Unfortunately I am very much in the minority when it comes to making such assessments.

          *Genuine but currently unenforced

          • However, there is no smoke without fire and some of the EU's enforced regulations are truly head-scratching

            Some of them are, but all countries have plenty of weird laws on the books.

            As for the fruit and veg ones, that was just yet more pointless and shrill screeching by the tabloids: there are already plenty of odd regulations about what makes a vegetable Class I, II or III etc.

            As for the diabetics one, that's not at all head scratching. It's a condition that can cause you to pass out. Likewise epilepsy i

            • However, it also states that prisoners should be allowed to vote in elections, a right the UK denies it's prison

              It declares no such thing. That's all intrepretation by the judges. Unfortunately, it does not matter how well you word a law, nothing can stop judges from intrepreting it in a stupid way.

              Well, there we go - I thought I was reasonably well informed, turns out the arguments being thrown around have far more hyperbole embedded in them that I suspected. Kinda makes a mockery of having a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU if the electorate is being misled by politicians and media outlets.

          • However, there is no smoke without fire and some of the EU's enforced regulations are truly head-scratching (eg: bottled water packaging cannot claim to combat dehydration.

            Now you're propagating sensationalized British tabloid stories yourself, as explained here [theguardian.com].

          • by GuB-42 (2483988)

            bottled water packaging cannot claim to combat dehydration

            Less stupid that you might think.
            Of course, bottled water works against dehydration... Like almost all non-alcoholic beverages and some types of solid food.
            But the reason why this law exist is to prevent sellers from implying that bottled water is the best way to combat dehydration, which is not true. Tap water, soda, juice, etc... work just as well. And in some cases, like when you need electrolytes, there are better alternatives.
            You may call it ove

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You clearly do not understand the political structures that you live under. The EU's competencies are clearly defined in treaties. As such, its source of legitimacy is the member states themselves and it cannot, by definition, overrule them, only set conditions on their continued membership in the organisation. Those competencies primarily lie in the establishment and maintenance of the single market. Most member states choose to accept the conditions it sets because the single market is beneficial to t

  • But we don't have the power to grant asylum as the THING THAT WE ARE!

    Oh... oh... wait! Motion to give ourselves the power to grant asylum as the guys who run the thing that we're running! No... that would never work! Perhaps you should try Belgium. They'll give anyone asylum!

    • by Megol (3135005)
      Contrary to some popular thoughts the EU isn't a federate state. It is a collection of states in an mostly economic co-operation. One can't be a EU citizen as it isn't a state - and as such it isn't possible to be granted asylum on the EU level. It isn't that complicated really.

      An individual state could grant asylum _according_to_their_laws_ (which differ*) and then there could possibly be complications if Snowden travels to another EU country. One one hand he would be considered a citizen of the asylum gr

  • by Max_W (812974) on Friday February 14, 2014 @05:42AM (#46243987)
    I would suggest an international conference of the USA, UK, Sweden and Russia on Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Sarah Harisson, and Bradley Manning.

    The best solution would be to send them to live to the North-Eastern Siberia, to Yakutsk or Krasnoyarsk regions, for, say, 10 years. During imperial period such an exile was a punishment in itself. At the same time they would be safe and free. The climate is very cold, but healthy and beautiful. It is another world. Everybody is happy.

    Life itself suggests it. Edward Snowden is already almost there. They could work there as school teachers of English language and literature, and IT education.

    After ten years emotions would calm down and the situation will be more clear.
  • The EU is losing the support of the masses even in the most euro-enthusiastic countries. As an institution in its whole, people feel that the EU is inexorable when it's time to demand new taxes, dismantle the welfare state, or regulate the length of cucumbers, but then is completely unhelpful, and sometimes harmful, when it's time to solve the problems of the citizens (migration, transportation, environment, defense, foreign policy...) instead of the problems of the banks. Each member state pursues exclusiv

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