In a manifesto released on Sunday, 41 French senators called for “respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in Catalonia” and denounced “repression” by Spanish authorities, which has led Catalan politicians being in jail and exile. The French representatives urge Emmanuel Macron’s government and the EU to take action in order for Spain to engage in dialogue with Catalonia.

François Calvet, promoter of the text and memebr of The Republicans, denounced strong diplomatic pressures to withdraw the manifesto. He also made clear that he would always defend human rights, in France or elsewhere.

For the senators, Spain is perpetrating a “true attack against democratic rights and freedoms.” They asked the French government not to underestimate the situation and called for the Élysée Palace and the EU to intervene in order to “restore the conditions of dialogue” between Spain and Catalonia and “find democratic solutions to a political issue.”

Internal affair

Yet Macron’s government has already rejected taking action on the grounds that it would be “interfering” in Spanish internal affairs, such as “ongoing judicial proceedings.” A statement published on Monday reads that it has “full confidence in Spanish democracy to launch a peaceful political dialogue, respecting constitutional legality and the rule of law.”

The French European affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau, added on Twitter that the French government has always been constant in the “strict respect towards Spanish constitutional rules.” “This is topic is Spain’s responsibility,” she added.

The Spanish ambassador in France and Spain’s foreign minister have also criticised the manifesto of the 41 senators. The latter, Minister Borrell, denounced the “alarming level of misinformation” of the representatives in the French senate.