EU court rejects Puigdemont's appeal against EU parliament decision to initially bar him from MEP seat
Former president and minister's delay in taking office is "result of application of Spanish law" as chamber "did not have any discretion"
The EU General Court has rejected an appeal lodged by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín against the European Parliament for initially barring them from taking office as MEPs.
Elected in May 2019, the Junts per Catalunya politicians were not immediately able to take office as they did not travel to Madrid – where they are wanted for organizing the 2017 independence referendum deemed illegal by Spain – to take the constitutional oath required of Spanish officials.
They were, however, allowed to take their seats in December 2019 after a court ruled in favor of then-imprisoned Oriol Junqueras by clarifying that MEP status is acquired only through elections.
According to the EU court decision made public on Wednesday morning, this delay is not the fault of former European parliament president Antonio Tajani, but rather "a result of the application of Spanish law" as the chamber "did not have any discretion" and therefore Puigdemont and Comín's appeal is inadmissible.
This EU General Court ruling can be challenged in the Court of Justice of the European Union and does not affect the politicians' status as MEPs.