EU parliament should have accepted Puigdemont's MEP seat from start, EU Advocate General says

Former Catalan president was initially denied his seat in 2019 for not taking Constitutional oath

Junts MEPs Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín voting in a European Parliament vote on January 13, 2020
Junts MEPs Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín voting in a European Parliament vote on January 13, 2020 / European Parliament
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Brussels

April 11, 2024 12:02 PM

April 11, 2024 12:31 PM

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has argued that pro-independence Junts politicians Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín should have received their MEP status condition in 2019 after being elected in the European Election. 

Although the decision is not binding, the lawyer claims that the decision of the General Court of the European Union in July 2022 should be annulled as it declared inadmissible the appeal of Puigdemont and Comín against the European Parliament to be granted MEP status. 

The Polish lawyer and Advocate General since October 2013 claims that the General Court "overlooked" the ruling in the case of Catalan independence leader Oriol Junqueras, which recognized their status as elected MEPs. 

According to the Advocate General, by refusing to grant them seats in 2019, the then-President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, "questioned the officially proclaimed election results." 

Reacting to the news, Puigdemont has expressed his satisfaction with the lawyer's opinion, saying that it is "well-founded and loaded with weighty legal reasons."  

"Someone will have to explain the violation of the fundamental rights of European voters and the partisan use of Union institutions such as the European Parliament," he added.   

In the 2019 European elections, Junts won in Catalonia. Puigdemont and Comín were elected but could not take office because they did not travel to Madrid to take the constitutional oath, as they were living outside Spain.

At the time, Puigdemont and Comín were wanted by Spanish authorities for their role in organizing the 2017 independence referendum, which was declared illegal by Spain.

However, they were allowed to take their seats in December 2019 after a court ruled in favor of then-imprisoned independence leader Oriol Junqueras, clarifying that MEP status can only be acquired through elections.