Spain defies European Parliament on Catalan MEPs

  • Spain's electoral board says Puigdemont and three other MEPs must go to Madrid to be confirmed, despite European Court of Justice's go-ahead

VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
03.11.2022 - 16:24

Spain’s electoral board insists that exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont must go to Madrid to be confirmed as MEP by taking the constitutional oath. The politician, who has been in exile since October 2017, was elected as MEP in the May 2019 European election, but the electoral board blocked him from his post for roughly half a year.

He was eventually given full MEP status in December 2019 when the European Court of Justice greenlighted any individual taking their seat if elected in the EU vote – even if they have not fulfilled all steps required by member states’ legislations such as taking the constitutional oath in person.

Puigdemont has enjoyed his status as member of the European Parliament ever since – his parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2021, which is being now reviewed in Luxembourg courts, not affecting his condition as MEP.

Spanish legislation 

Yet, this spring, the European Parliament committee in charge of verifying the credentials of MEPs notified that they had not been able to confirm those of Puigdemont and two other Junts party exiled officials, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, along with those of Esquerra’s Jordi Solé, who also decided not go to Madrid to take the constitutional oath despite not being exiled.

Adrián Vázquez, member of Spanish unionist party Ciudadanos, is the leader of the Legal Affairs Committee, and he argued in May that the four pro-independence MEPs had not fulfilled the requirements ordered by the national legislation. The committee asked parliament speaker Roberta Metsola to ask Spain’s electoral board for further information about the unusual situation, which she did on 27 October.


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