In an unexpected vote, MEPs narrowly approved a measure that calls on EU member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection, and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender.”

The 285-281 vote came amid a long response from Parliamentarians irritated with the European Commission for not having done enough to respond to the revelations of US mass surveillance first revealed by Snowden back in 2013.

Although it represents a bold statement of support to the former NSA staffer, it does not mean he should pack his bags and catch the next flight to Berlin: the vote is not in any way binding on EU member states, and any European country that welcomed Snowden in would find itself under enormous pressure from the United States government to hand him over. The US has long-standing extradition treaties with all European countries.

Source: European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US