Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former minister Toni Comín both acquired provisional accreditation as MEPs at the European Parliament on Friday, after the ban on them attending the chamber was lifted.
It follows last Thursday’s ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that jailed Oriol Junqueras had immunity from the moment he was elected MEP in May.
Puigdemont and Comín were elected as MEPs alongside Junqueras in May, but none of the three were able to take up their seats. The Luxembourg ruling on Junqueras now has an implication on the immunity status of both Puigdemont and Comín, as well as on their extradition hearing already postponed until 3 February in Belgium.
On Thursday, the European Parliament president David-Maria Sassoli stated that the chamber would ‘evaluate the possible application’ of the CJEU’s ruling, whilst also calling on Spain to ‘align with’ it. He also affirmed that he would not ‘accept any challenge to the rules on this issue’.
Neither Puigdemont nor Comín have been able to enter the EU Parliament since October after their European Arrest Warrants were reissued by Spain for their roles in the 2017 independence bid. Whilst they might be able to enter the chamber, however, their warrants have not been terminated.
The decision to let them enter the EU Parliament’s camber does not mean they have been recognised as MEPs, but it could be a first step in that direction depending on the specific findings of the report that Sassoli has asked the chamber’s legal services to carry out.
Meanwhile, the Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party which Oriol Junqueras heads in Spain, has suspended further negotiations with the PSOE socialists regarding the possible investiture of Pedro Sánchez as prime minister, until Sánchez addresses the immunity ruling announced by the CJEU.
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