22nd August 2019
Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín
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EU high court admits appeal from Catalan MEPs-elect

Two exiled former Catalan officials who were elected MEPs in May’s EU election have lodged an appeal in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) asking that they be allowed to take up their seats in the European Parliament.

Former president Carles Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín have been unable to take up their seats because the EU Parliament president, Antonio Tajani, has so far refused to recognise them as elected MEPs.

ALSO READ: Spain declares Puigdemont’s MEP seat vacant

Spanish MEPs must complete an accreditation procedure in Madrid in order to take up their seats, but Puigdemont and Comín were unable to return to Spain, where they would be arrested over the 2017 independence bid.

Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín
Carles Puigdemont (left) and Toni Comín. (Natàlia Segura / ACN)

With the inaugural session of the EU parliament set to take place on Tuesday, sources from the EU court have said that a decision on the appeal would come ‘soon’ and that it ‘it will not take weeks or months’.

ALSO READ: Tajani: ‘It’s Spain’s problem’ that MEP seats not filled

On social media, Puigdemont described the court’s decision to admit the appeal ‘a good start’ and said accepting the appeal showed that the issue is a ‘European affair that concerns the European judiciary.’

After Puigdemont and Comín, and jailed former vice president Oriol Junqueras, were unable to complete the accreditation process, the Spanish authorities declared their seats vacant and their names were not on the list of Spanish MEPs sent to Brussels.

ALSO READ: 6,000 expected to travel to Strasbourg for EU Parliament protest

Puigdemont’s lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, on Monday accused Tajani of ‘depriving elected MEPs of their right to passive suffrage’ and preventing them from ‘acting as representatives of a national minority.’ Over a million people voted for the two candidates.

On Friday, Puigdemont and Comín issued a joint statement saying Tajani had ignored all the letters they had sent him, and warning that it ‘will not avoid a formal response from the European judicial authorities to this serious violation of fundamental rights.’

ALSO READ: Court bars Oriol Junqueras from taking up seat as MEP

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