(Feb. 12, 2009) On February 4, 2009, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on a 542-55 vote that urges the European Union Member States to accept Guantanamo Bay prisoners in the event the United States issues such a request. EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot stated that those EU members that comply will receive financial aid to facilitate the process. The Commissioner also stated that the burden falls on the United States to ensure that any released Guantanamo detainees destined for Europe do not pose a terrorist threat. Several conservative members of the Parliament have already expressed serious concern about security issues in connection with the release of detainees who were trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001.
A number of EU countries, including Portugal, which has assumed a leadership role on this issue, have expressed their eagerness to accept prisoners. However, none has made any commitment to do so yet. (MEPS Urge EU States to Take Guantanamo Prisoners, EU OBSERVER, Feb. 4, 2009, available at http://euobserver.com/9/27531/?rk=1.)