The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday recommended that Catalan MEPs raise their immunity to Carles Puigdemont, Anthony Cummins and Clara Ponsanti. In March, the entire hemisphere will issue its final verdict. “This is a black day for European democracy,” he said.
Puigdemont, Anthony Cummins and Clara Ponsanti responded to the decision at a press conference on Wednesday. “This is not a decision to sue us, but a decision to imprison us,” Ponsanthi said. ‘Europe is playing on the map of Spain. … If parliament continues to do so, it will undermine its democratic credibility. Europe has a mission to protect minorities. Every time a European company ignores this mandate, we lose democracy in Europe. ‘
Comin agreed. He was talking about a “sad end”. The main Spanish parties were able to persuade the European Parliament, he said. According to Kamin, Europe is losing its moral power. “Again, Europe has chosen not to condemn political persecution, which is a black day for European democracy.”
A Spanish court has issued European arrest warrants against former Catalan Prime Minister Puigdemont and fellow party members Comin and Ponsanti for their involvement in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. Ponsanthi then moved to Scotland. Arrest warrant proceedings have been suspended pending a vote on their immunity waiver.
Puigdemont and Comin were elected to the European Parliament in May 2019. After several months of legal battle, in early 2020 they were able to take their place in Strasbourg. After the United Kingdom left the European Union later that month and was able to capture some British seats in Spain, Ponsanthi became a member of the European Parliament. As soon as the three former Catalan government members took their seats, a Spanish court filed a petition dismissing their immunity.
Although members of the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of dismissing the immunity of Puigdemont, Komin and Ponsanthi, it was still only a comment. During the full week of March 8-11, the entire European Parliament will issue its final judgment.
The Catalan trio said on Wednesday they would not ‘admit defeat’ and would vote in March on the removal of their parliamentary opposition ‘until the last minute’.