The General Court of the European Union (TGUE) has declared this Wednesday “inadmissible” the appeal that the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former Minister Toni Comín filed against the decision of the European Parliament (EP) for not allowing them to participate in the first plenary session of this legislature, on July 2, 2019, after JuntsxCat had won two seats in the European Parliament in the elections of May 26, 2019. The TGUE argues that the European Parliament “limited itself to taking note of the legal situation” notified by the authorities Spanish.
The European court concludes that the impossibility of the plaintiffs to assume their functions, to exercise their mandates and to occupy their seats did not derive from the refusal of the then President of the Parliament, Antonio Tajani, to recognize them as European deputies, but from the application of the law Spanish and, specifically, of the notifications of the Central Electoral Board (JEC).
The JEC excluded the plaintiffs from the list of deputies
This electoral body, after proclaiming the plaintiffs as elected deputies, excluded them from the list that it sent to the Chamber on the grounds that they had not sworn or promised the Constitution. It should be remembered that neither Puigdemont nor Comín, who have resided in Belgium since 2017, could not go to Madrid to comply with this act, mandatory in Spanish electoral legislation, without being arrested by the order against them of the investigating judge of the cause of the process Pablo Llarena without being arrested.
The TGUE points out that neither Tajani nor the Chamber “did not have any margin of appreciation” in relation to the list sent to them by the JEC. For this reason, the court considers that the refusal of the former President of Parliament to recognize Puigdemont and Comín as deputy does not constitute “an act that produces binding legal effects that may affect the interests of the plaintiffs”, so that -the court- “the appeal for annulment against said refusal is inadmissible”.
They were not actionable acts
On the other hand, on May 29, 2019, shortly after the elections, Tajani gave the secretary general of the institution the instruction to deny all candidates elected in Spain access to the welcome town and the assistance provided by the institution to the elected candidates, as well as suspending their accreditation until the Parliament had received official confirmation of their election.
In this regard, the court understands that this instruction did not have legal effects on the plaintiffs, so it is not an actionable act either. According to the General Court, this instruction did not have the effect of preventing Puigdemont and Comín from carrying out the administrative procedures to take office and exercise their mandates, so that their inability to exercise the rights associated with their status as European deputy does not derive from said instruction.
The judgment issued today is appealable before the highest instance, the Court of Justice of the EU.
Puigdemont and Comín finally took their seats at the end of that year by virtue of a decision by the recently deceased David Sassoli, who replaced Tajani as president of the institution, who admitted their status as deputies. Sassoli’s decision was based on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that recognized the immunity of the president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras-had also been elected- since he ruled that the rights associated with a member of the Chamber derived from the electoral results and not from subsequent procedures.