After a failed attempt from the Spanish electoral authority to veto Catalonia’s exiled president from the EU election, Puigdemont’s next aim is to get a seat and be allowed to take office. “I hope the Spanish authorities respect the European rule of law” he said, as it is the member states who must proclaim to the EU who are the elected MEPs.

Carles Puigdemont will temporarily give up his bid to be reinstated in the post of the Catalan presidency if he is elected MEP in the upcoming election and is able to take office. This is what he said in a press conference at theCatalan News Agency via video link on Monday morning.

He is currently an MP in the Catalan chamber and only MPs in Parliament can bid for the presidency, but the law also provides that this post is not compatible with holding a seat in the European Parliament. Puigdemont said he does not “renounce” to the presidency, but admitted at the same time that “Spain has placed a legal barricade” to prevent him from being reinstated.

Defend the right to self-determination

“In the European rule of law there is no doubt about my immunity and my right to rule as an MEP, not only in my case, but also for ministers Comín and Ponsatí”, Puigdemont said referring to his former government colleagues also running for the pro-independence Junts per Catalunya. “This is a threat to European democracy and we need to improve the basis of our democracy,” he added.

Concerning his plans on whether he will return to Catalonia using his immunity if he takes office as MEP, as he suggested some weeks ago, he avoided the issue and emphasized his plans in Brussels.  “One of our goals is to defend European democracy against authoritarianism, populism, xenophobia and state nationalism, which is increasing all around Europe.” “Our commitment is to join other peoples to fight for freedom, and specifically the right to self-determination.”