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Protecting the right to political representation in Catalonia

Written declaration No. 704 | Doc. 15060 | 31 January 2020

Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Gökay AKBULUT, Germany, UEL ; Ms Hannah BARDELL, United Kingdom, NR ; Mr Michel BRANDT, Germany, UEL ; Mr Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Italy, NR ; Mr Petter EIDE, Norway, UEL ; Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Momodou Malcolm JALLOW, Sweden, UEL ; Mr Sergey KALASHNIKOV, Russian Federation, UEL ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Alvise MANIERO, Italy, NR ; Mr Gianni MARILOTTI, Italy, NR ; Ms Cornelia MÖHRING, Germany, UEL ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Lars Aslan RASMUSSEN, Denmark, SOC ; Mr Tommy SHEPPARD, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Victoria VELASQUEZ, Denmark, UEL

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

The Spanish authorities are taking worrying steps, which clearly affect the fundamental right to political representation in Catalonia.

On the one hand, they are denying the democratic right to take office of the elected Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Oriol Junqueras, as recognised by the European Court of Justice.

On the other, they reject the rights of two other MEPs, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comin, who having taken office enjoy due parliamentary immunity in all countries of the European Union except in Spain, where their immunity is not fully guaranteed by the appropriate State authorities, as it should.

Moreover, other elected members of the Spanish Parliament (Jordi Sanchez, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull at the Congreso de los Diputados and Raul Romeva for the Senate), had their seats taken away due to a highly controversial sentence by the Spanish Supreme Court that has been strongly questioned by several international legal and human rights organisations.

Political and public participation rights play a crucial role in the promotion of democratic governance. Therefore, obstacles to the exercise of these fundamental rights challenge the core principles upheld by the Council of Europe.

We welcome the announced dialogue between the new Spanish Government and the Catalan one. We consider that is through dialogue and not repression that a constructive solution can be built.