The European Parliament voted Thursday morning to invite Edward Snowden to testify on National Security Agency surveillance programs as early as January of next year.
Mainstream political parties overcame opposition from the European People’s Party (EPP) to invite the former NSA contractor to answer questions via video link.
Two questions from each political faction will be emailed ahead of time to Snowden’s lawyer in the coming weeks leading up to the testimony.
“Amongst the questions I will ask Mr. Snowden,” European Parliament Member Claude Moraes said in The Guardian, “will be why he decided to reveal the information and the consequences and implications of his actions; questions around his current situation in Russia; questions around his opinion on the impact of his revelations on security, the intelligence services, and ‘the right to know’; questions around his opinions of where his revelations and allegations take the area of mass surveillance in the future.”
Moraes has led the examination into NSA spying since it was revealed the programs collect data on millions of Europeans.
Members hope to be able to pose additional questions to Snowden live, but submit they may have to be pre-recorded due to the possibility of the NSA tracking the leaker’s location via the video link.
Both the British Conservative Party and the traditionally conservative EPP opposed the invitation to testify, citing fears of disrupting trade agreements with the U.S. and public safety concerns.
The vote comes one week after the British government indicated it may bring charges of terrorism against The Guardian newspaper for publishing documents leaked by the former agency contractor, which the government claims put the lives of active British intelligence agents and military servicemen at risk.