More than seventy MEPs have asked the Bureau of the European Parliament to take action after Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín were denied their MEP credentials on Monday. In a joint letter, several MEPs have endorsed the call by their Catalan colleagues Jordi Solé, Josep Maria Terricabras and Ramon Tremosa, who have asked the Bureau of the European Parliament to “acknowledge” and “protect” the political rights of Puigdemont, Junqueras and Comín, as well as to urge Spain’s Central Electoral Commission (JEC) to “respect the result of the European elections and acknowledge and respect their right to immunity and to hold office”.
In their letter —which has already been endorsed by about seventy MEPs— they remind the Bureau that Puigdemont, Comín and Junqueras have been denied their credentials as European lawmakers by the Spanish “authorities” following the European polls of May 26. They also point out that the JxCat candidates received 1.025.411 votes, with ERC’s slate getting 1.257.484
“The decision by the Spanish authorities to prevent the newly-elected MEPs from collecting their credentials and attending the Parliament’s first plenary session on July 2nd is clear violation of their political rights and of the political rights of more than two million Europeans who gave them their ballot”, they write.
Furthermore, the letter claims that the move by Spain’s JEC ultimately aims to “avoid any debate in the European Parliament that might question the trial against the Catalan political leaders and grassroots activists”.
For all that, they call on the Bureau —formed by Antonio Tajani, the president of the chamber, and 14 vice presidents— to urge Spain’s Central Electoral Board to reverse its decision. On Monday afternoon the Bureau was due to meet in order to address this controversy. Five of the fourteen vice presidents have already stated that they had nothing to do with Tajani’s decision to prevent Puigdemont and Comín from collecting their temporary MEP crendentials a few weeks ago, and another four stated that they would ask Tajani for an explanation.
On Monday Puigdemont’s international lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, travelled to Madrid to submit Puigdemont and Comín’s paperwork and collect their credentials, but the JEC turned him away. Boye warned that, from now on, the decision takes on an “international” dimension because they have begun a journey which they hope will eventually lead to the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.