Conservative MEP calls for “mediation” between Catalonia and Spain and considers Forcadells' prosecution a "very hard" reaction

May 12, 2017 10:47 AM | ACN

MEPs from different parties have criticized the way the Spanish State has used the court to tackle Catalonia’s pro-independence aspirations, particularly this week as the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, and other members of the Chamber’s Bureau have been brought to court for allowing a debate on independence in the Parliament. According to Sinn Féin’s MEP, Matt Carthy, the Spanish State is “undermining its reputation across Europe” by taking public representatives to court. In a similar vein, European People’s Party MEP, Sipra Pietikäinen, said the reaction from the Spanish judiciary was “very strong” and called for “mediation” instead to overcome the current deadlock. Slovenian MEP Igor Soltes also criticized the EU role regarding these kinds of conflicts and lamented that “sometimes it is easier” for EU institutions to intervene “in foreign countries” such as Venezuela rather than doing so in Catalonia.

Puigdemont in Brussels to defend Catalonia’s right to hold an independence referendum

January 23, 2017 08:14 PM | ACN

Catalonia is seeking an agreement with Spain to celebrate an independence referendum but if Madrid continues to refuse to negotiate, the vote will go ahead anyway in 2017. This is the message that the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, will send to the European Parliament in a conference on Tuesday evening that is expected to be attended by about 300 people, including MEPs, international journalists and diplomats. Puigdemont will be accompanied by his two most senior ministers: Vice President Oriol Junqueras and Minister of Foreign Affairs Raül Romeva, both former MEPs and both in charge of organising the referendum. The talk has caused a stir amongst Spanish unionist MEPs, who have urged their colleagues to avoid it. The leader of the Spanish People’s Party in the European Parliament, Esteban González Pons, wrote to all his Brussels colleagues saying that the referendum plans are “an unconstitutional act, which goes not only against Spain, but also against the deepest principles and values of the EU”. Puigdemont, said on Twitter that the so-called “dialogue operation” of the Spanish Government with Catalonia “has already arrived in Brussels”. In an ironic remark following González-Pons’ letter, the Catalan President regretted the Spanish People’s Party (PP) stance on the issue.

European Parliament urges Spain to investigate Francoism crimes

December 14, 2016 06:55 PM | ACN

The European Parliament approved on Tuesday with 456 votes in favour, 138 against and 104 abstentions a resolution on fundamental rights in the EU. The draft, written by the Slovak MEP of the European People's Party (EPP), József Nagy, includes a specific call for Spain to investigate Francoism crimes. The amendment states that it “essential that all Member States cooperate with national and international judicial investigations” in order to “ensure truth, justice and reparations for victims of crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian regimes in the EU”. Furthermore, it calls on the European Commission to make an “objective assessment of the situation” in “all” states “to promote the historical memory”. The text was promoted, among others, by MEPs from the Catalan left-wing pro-independence party (ERC), the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT), and the Catalan Green-Socialist party (ICV). Currently in Catalonia there are 390 mass graves and the number of people who went missing during the Franco era and are still yet to be located totals 4,912 people.

European People's Party won't recognise the legality of secessionist processes

October 22, 2015 06:35 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish People's Party promoted a resolution this Wednesday during the European People's Party (EPP) Statutory Congress in Madrid to guarantee that the party won't recognise the legality of secessionist processes in EU. "Any self-proclaimed sovereignty process aimed at unilaterally declaring the secession of territories forming part of Member States is beyond the realms of legality and, therefore, will not be recognized as legal by the other Member States" reads the text. The resolution was approved by simple majority and all 16 MEPs from Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) voted against the resolution. "We support a position which is balanced between autonomies' rights and territories' integrity" stated CSU's spokesman at the EPP meeting, Reinhold Bocklet. "We don't like to be involved in Spain's internal problems" he concluded. Other groups also voted against the resolutions and there were many abstentions, in a Statutory Congress that was attended by 14 Heads of Member States.