The Council for the Catalan Republic welcomes the decisions made by the CJEU on 19 and 20 December, according to which recognition is granted to the status as members of the European Parliament of President Carles Puigdemont, Vice-president Oriol Junqueras and Councillor Toni Comín from the moment the results of the elections to the European parliament were declared and they were elected. The status of European Parliament member will also very soon, with all likelihood, be extended to Councillor Clara Ponsatí.
This amounts to an overwhelming victory not only for the candidates directly affected, but also, above all, for the almost two million citizens of Catalonia who voted for them on 26 May. It represents, moreover, an out-and-out victory for the 500 million European citizens who by virtue of this judgment recognize that democracy has been defended, consolidated and strengthened throughout the EU. Both the CJEU and President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, have acted in this matter in the manner one would expect from European institutions committed to the values and principles of democracy and the state of law, the basis and raison d’être of the European project. We are most proud that European democracy has been able to take this step forward thanks to the legal conflict between Catalan leaders and the Spanish state.
In the knowledge that many citizens of Catalonia wish to organize a demonstration in Strasbourg on 13 January, on the occasion of the first session of the Parliament in which President Puigdemont and Councillor Comín will participate, the Governing Council would like to state the following:
The Council for the Republic will not call for any action on that day in Strasbourg. Unlike 2 July, the date when both the CJEU and the European Parliament had a decision pending in relation to the case of the Catalan members of parliament, the circumstances are now quite different. If it was then legitimate to express to European institutions the demands of almost two million voters who had been scorned, at the present time, on the contrary, the decision of the European institutions has been made and desired outcome attained.
As long as Spanish institutions, the Supreme Court and Electoral Commission violate the political rights and immunity of Vice-president Oriol Junqueras and prevent him from acceding to the European Parliament, as derives from the CJEU decision on 19 December, the priority of any mobilisation must be to demand that that decision be respected and enforced by Spanish institutions. Now justice must be demanded from Spanish institutions.
2. The recognition of the EU parliamentary status and, consequently, of the immunity of President Puigdemont and Councillor Comín will allow them to circulate freely around EU countries. Thus, the Council for the Republic plans to call a mass meeting with their participation in Northern Catalonia. This will, no doubt, be the best way to celebrate all the political and legal victories the Catalan independence movement has won over recent months, as well as to denounce the repression of which political and social leaders of the independence movement are still victims, and resume the democratic struggle that will allow us to achieve the aims of the path initiated on 1/O.
3. The Council for the Republic will respect the acts that may eventually be organised by civil society on 13 January in Strasbourg, in the exercise of its own free initiative. If such acts are called, they can count on the presence of members of the Governing Council who are invited to participate (on the understanding that the Euro-MPs can only be present when there is not a parliamentary session in progress), always embodying an expression of gratitude and recognition of the decisive, vital mobilising of citizens in the peaceful struggle for the Catalan Republic.
27 December 2019