what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

The NSA surveillance programme and its impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights

Since June 2013, revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden have brought to light mass surveillance programmes by US and EU spy agencies, the extent of which was unheard of until now. Various sources point to tens of millions of people being spied on.

The scandal has prompted the European Parliament to set up an inquiry and draft legislation to prevent this happening in the future.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe the US must end its bulk collection of data, when there is no individual suspicion.

It should also offer proper compensation, including to EU citizens. Until it does, the EU should end data sharing agreements with the US, like the SWIFT agreement and the Safe Harbour decision.

We also call for a suspension of the on-going TTIP talks (the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated between the EU and the US trade) until the US stops its mass surveillance of EU citizens.

The Greens also believe Edward Snowden, and whistle-blowers in general who expose injustice, should be protected.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

Members of the European Parliament supported longstanding Green proposals, calling on the US to end its bulk collection of data without individual suspicion and redress or data protection rights for EU citizens. Our proposals to end data sharing agreements in 2014 with the US (SWIFT and Safe Harbour) were also adopted.

A Green proposal for a 'digital New Deal' to strengthen an independent European IT industry, providing secure and safe products and services, was also supported.


Which points did the Greens lose?

Regrettably, a majority of MEPs, EPP (conservatives) but also a significant number of S&D (social democrats) and ALDE (liberals), decided to leave Edward Snowden in the lurch by rejecting our amendment calling Members States to offer him protection.

In another move not to offend the US, MEPs voted down our proposal to suspend TTIP negotiations. 


Procedure:Own-initiative procedure


Lead MEP:Claude Moraes (S&D)

Green MEP responsible:Jan Albrecht (Greens/EFA)


Staff contact:Wouter van Ballegooij (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?