Puigdemont presents European Citizens' Initiative to sanction Spain
Launched by two pro-independence organizations, it needs to gather a million signatures in a year to be considered by Commission
The former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, presented a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) on Thursday to urge the European Commission to sanction Spain over its "lack of compliance with EU law."
The initiative was presented by two pro-independence organizations: ANC and the Council of the Republic, led by the ex-head of government now in exile.
"Now it is the time to show the power of citizens," he said. However, according to Puigdemont, "this is not a proposal against Spain."
"Now it is the time to show the power of citizens"
Carles Puigdemont · Former Catalan president
ANC president Elisenda Paluzie said that Madrid should be sanctioned for its "scarce respect to the minorities' rights" or the "politization" of the higher judiciary institutions.
What needs to happen for the initiative to be successful
The initiative's goal is to force the Commission to consider its request, but in order to do so the petition needs to garner the support of one million signatories in one year with a minimum threshold in at least seven EU member states.
In this case, the states that would have to come up with supporters are Spain (with at least 40,000 signatures), France (50,000), Germany (72,000), Finland (19,000), Sweden (15,000), Slovenia (6,000) and Belgium (17,500).
The Union's executive body will have to decide whether the petition drive can be launched in the first place as it must propose something within the EU's powers and it cannot be against the European values.
If one million signatures are obtained then the Commission will consider it, but it is not obliged to accept it.