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Written declaration No. 687 | Doc. 14938 | 28 June 2019

Safeguard the democratic rights of Catalan parliamentarians

Signatories: Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Gökay AKBULUT, Germany, UEL ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Ervin BUSHATI, Albania, SOC ; Ms Pero DÜNDAR, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Petter EIDE, Norway, UEL ; Mr António FILIPE, Portugal, UEL ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Miren GORROTXATEGUI, Spain, UEL ; Mr Paolo GRIMOLDI, Italy, NR ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Henk OVERBEEK, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Alberto RIBOLLA, Italy, NR ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Jussi SARAMO, Finland, UEL ; Ms Violeta TOMIĆ, Slovenia, UEL ; Ms Feleknas UCA, Turkey, UEL

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

In a very worrying way, Spanish authorities are denying the democratic right of the three elected Members of the European Parliament (MEP) Oriol Junqueras, Toni Comín, and Carles Puigdemont to take office.

Puigdemont and Comin are in exile due to politically motivated legal proceedings for their role in the 2017 referendum on Catalan self-determination. The Spanish Electoral Authority obliges them to go to Madrid to formally take their seats. This would lead to their arrest, given the active arrest warrants against them.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in opinion 6/2019 considered the ongoing detention of Junqueras and other Catalan leaders as arbitrary and asked for their immediate release. In contrast, the Spanish Supreme Court denied Junqueras to leave prison to take up his seat as MEP.

We welcome the initiative of 76 MEPs from five political groups who, on 17 June 2019, sent a letter to the Bureau members of the European Parliament asking to recognise and protect the political rights of the aforementioned elected MEPs.

We call on the Spanish authorities to stop blocking the newly elected MEPs from taking office and on the European Parliament to support all its elected members in taking their seats in parliament.