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11 Catalan politicians elected MEPs: who are they?

New representatives include three ousted pro-independence cabinet members, a former European parliament president and former Spanish minister

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27 May 2019 07:08 PM

by

Daniel Wittenberg | Barcelona

Catalonia forms part of a single Spanish constituency in EU elections but the territory will be widely represented with almost a dozen Catalan MEPs picked for the next parliament.

Some will use their European platform to campaign for Catalan causes, including independence, most notably the three elected representatives who are in exile or preventative prison.

Meanwhile, others with a particular interest in foreign affairs will play a role in international politics and could even occupy important institutional roles within the European Parliament.

Catalan News has written a brief biography of each of the winning Catalan candidates.

Carles Puigdemont (JxCat): Ousted Catalan president and independence figurehead. Trying to win international support from exile in Belgium. Spanish authorities, or ultimately European courts, might decide whether he can take his seat.

Toni Comín (JxCat): Puigdemont's health minister, also in exile. Left Socialists over independence stance. Like his boss and fellow exile, will struggle to register as an MEP without returning to Spain.

Josep Borrell (Socialists): Spain's acting foreign minister. Faced international scrutiny amid Catalan crisis. EU Parliament president from 2004 to 2007. Tipped to become EU foreign affairs chief.

Javi López (Socialists): Serving a second term as MEP having sat on employment and foreign affairs committees. Voted for CETA trade agreement despite party's opposition. Trained lawyer.

Oriol Junqueras (ERC): Catalan vice-president during independence drive. In prison on trial for rebellion. Will request release to take his seat in Brussels. Suspended from Spanish parliament, likely legal battle ahead.

Diana Riba (ERC): Prominent campaigner and education professor. Founder of Catalan Association for Civil Rights, backing imprisoned and exiled leaders. Wife of jailed pro-independence Spanish senator Raül Romeva.

Javier Nart (Cs): Outgoing Alliance of Liberals and Democrats vice-president in Brussels. Former war correspondent. Outspoken on human rights including in Venezuela and Myanmar.

Jordi Cañas (Cs): Catalan MP from 2010 to 2014. Resigned over alleged tax fraud but rebuilding his career after being acquitted. On the left of Ciutadans having started out with the Socialists, staunchly against independence.

Ernest Urtasun (Unides Podem): Spokesperson for eco-socialist Initiative for Catalonia Greens. First elected in 2014. Secretary for Raül Romeva when the latter was MEP.

Dolors Montserrat (PP): Spain's health, welfare and equality minister during Mariano Rajoy's presidency finally rejoins the frontline. Proclaims her "soul is Catalan and heart is Spanish."

Jorge Buxadé (Vox): Party spokesperson and state attorney. Past links with PP and neo-fascist party Falange. Critical of whom he calls "ugly feminists who tell Spanish women what to do."

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  • Several journalists were following the EU election night in Brussels on May 26, 2019 (by Blanca Blay)

  • Several journalists were following the EU election night in Brussels on May 26, 2019 (by Blanca Blay)

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