The European parliament has recognized exiled Catalan pro-independence leader Clara Ponsatí as an MEP. On Friday the chamber accepted her as one of the people who will benefit from the seats left vacant by UK MEPs after Brexit. The EU parliament granted her status despite Spain’s electoral board declaring her MEP seat as “temporarily vacant” on Thursday.

The succession of events is the same as the one resulting in former president Carles Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín getting their seats in the chamber – but this time much shorter. Like Puigdemont and Comín after the May 2019 EU election, Ponsatí was summoned to Madrid in order to take the constitutional oath, an essential step in Spain’s legal framework in order to take up any seat.

She failed to attend, and subsequently Spain’s electoral board declared her seat “temporarily vacant.” Yet, since the European Court of Justice ruled in December that the MEP condition “is acquired by virtue of the official declaration of the election results” even when some member state makes extra requirements such as taking an oath, the EU parliament accepted her on Friday – like they did in early January with Puigdemont and Comín.

Ponsatí will take up her seat in the next EU chamber plenary session, beginning on February 10 in Brussels.

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