Home Featured European Parliament ex-president broke law by barring Catalan separatists, top court adviser says – POLITICO
European Parliament ex-president broke law by barring Catalan separatists, top court adviser says – POLITICO

European Parliament ex-president broke law by barring Catalan separatists, top court adviser says – POLITICO

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As a result, Puigdemont and Comín were left off the official list of MEPs-elect that Spain sent to the European Parliament, and Tajani decided to withhold their credentials and bar them from entering the institution’s buildings.

That ban remained in place until Tajani’s successor as Parliament president, David Sassoli, waived it six months later, when the Court of Justice of the European Union reaffirmed the immunity of elected MEPs and ruled member countries had no right to ban them from taking their seats in the Parliament.

Even then, however, Puigdemont and Comín were not recognized by the Parliament. Their credentials were finally accepted by the institution in January 2020, eight months after the European Parliament elections were held.

In response to an appeal to the Court of Justice of the EU filed by Puigdemont and Comín back in 2019, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar issued an opinion Thursday slamming Tajani for his actions and recommending the Parliament be ordered to retroactively annul its refusal.

Szpunar said Tajani had breached EU law by calling the officially declared election results into question, and by bowing to Spanish authorities who had failed to “faithfully and completely” relay the results of the elections in a bid to block the separatists from taking their seats in the Parliament.

“There is no provision of [EU] law that authorizes a Member State to suspend the prerogatives of Members of the European Parliament,” Szpunar wrote.

While the advocate general’s opinion is nonbinding, their independent input is key to the Court’s deliberations and has been found to align with around three-quarters of its final legal decisions. The definitive ruling on the case is expected at a later date.

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