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May 2, 2019

The ANC and Council for the republic promote a European Citizen Initiative

The Catalan National Assembly and the Council for the Republic promote a European Citizen Initiative (ECI). An ECI is a petition tool in the EU that obliges the European Commission to take a position on a specific issue.

The objective of this European Citizen Initiative is to demand the application of article 7 of the Treaty on European Union to the Kingdom of Spain, due to the serious violations that have occurred in relation to article 2 of the Treaty: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities.  Political and judiciary repression have consistently been the only answer to a political issue.  Repression of everybody involved in the Referendum of October 1st , including elected members in preventive prison or exile, town majors, teachers, journalists, banning representation to elected members, freedom of speech and assembly, peaceful non-violent disobedience…. all of them have been criminalized and taken to Court This ECI is posed as an answer to the events that have taken place in Spain in relation to the process of self-determination of Catalonia, which represent a systematic attack on human rights and the separation of powers. The last example was experienced on April 29th when the Spanish Central Electoral Board decided to veto the candidacy of the president in exile Carles Puigdemont, and of the counselors Toni Comin and Clara Ponsatí. Or afterwards, when they have not been appointed as MEPs yet as of June 30th, 2019.

The deterioration of human rights in Spain is generating concern and alarm among a growing number of people throughout the EU, a group of which (including numerous European well known individuals and political representatives) has decided to promote this European Citizen Initiative. The event to mark the beginning of the ECI was attended by President Carles Puigdemont and councilors and members of the Council, Toni Comín, Clara Ponsatí and Lluís Puig, the president of the ANC, Elisenda Paluzie and the former MEP, Occitan and promoter of ECI Gérard Onesta.

This Citizen Initiative seeks to obtain one million signatures from European citizens in different EU Member States, not only to force the European Commission to take a position but also to continue the internationalization of the Catalan cause for the right to self-determination. Once the ECI registration has been accepted by the Commission, it will take the Commission up to two months to establish whether the ICE falls within its jurisdiction and accepts it. If that is the case, it will open a period of 12 months to  campaign and collect a minimum of 1,000,000 signatures from citizens of EU countries. If the Commission does not accept the ECI, it opens the path to appeal this decision before the EU Courts in Luxembourg.