Earlier this month, the European Union urged US to clarify the alleged surveillance reports that Washington is spying on the group’s offices.
The European Parliament said it will conduct an in-depth inquiry into the US surveillance programmes, including the bugging of EU premises and other spying allegations.
The Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has passed a resolution, which was approved by 483 votes to 98 votes, with 65 abstentions.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed their serious concern over Prism and other surveillance programmes and asked the US authorities to provide them with full information on the allegations without further delay.
Parliament has also expressed concerns about allegations that similar surveillance programmes are run by several EU member states, such as the UK, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany and Poland.
It urged the EU member states to examine whether those programmes are compatible with EU law.
The committee inquiry will collect information and evidence from both US and EU sources and present its conclusions in a resolution by the end of the year.
The committee will also assess the impact of the alleged surveillance activities on EU citizens’ right to privacy and data protection, freedom of expression, the presumption of innocence and the right to an effective remedy.
MEPs involved in the inquiry will table recommendations to prevent similar cases in future and step up IT security in the EU institutions, bodies and agencies.
In the resolution, MEPs stressed the need for procedures allowing whistle blowers to unveil serious violations of fundamental rights and the importance of providing such people with the protection they need, including at international level.