Catalan Parliament representatives of the three pro-independence parties Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and CUP – as well as the Catalunya en Comú party – have all signed an open letter to the president of the European Parliament calling for the exiled and imprisoned Catalan leaders who won seats in the European elections to be recognised as MEPs.
The 76 Catalan MPs warned EU president Antonio Tajani and his vice presidents that the decision to refuse ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former minister Toni Comín entry to the EU Parliament building was a ‘shameful obstruction of the electoral rules and democratic principles’.
The open letter described the acceptance of the request by Spanish unionists the People’s Party (PP), the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Ciudadanos (Cs) that the parliamentary accreditation of its MEPs be cancelled until further notice as ‘completely arbitrary and inexplicable’.
The MPs were also critical of the lack of provision for ex-Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras to register his seat from preventative prison in Madrid, pending the verdict of his trial for alleged rebellion relating to the failed independence drive in 2017.
They restated the number of votes that each of the candidates received in the 26 May election, calling their electoral mandate a form of ‘essential and irreplaceable’ accreditation and said that Tajani would be ‘weakening the democratic nature’ of the EU Parliament by continuing to bar access to the legislature ahead of its opening on 2 July.