By / April 3, 2021

Citizens’ enquiries on the waiving of immunity three Members of the European Parliament

The European Parliament has recently received a large number of messages related to the request from Spanish authorities to waive the immunity of three Members of the European Parliament: Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (Non-attached, Spain), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (Non-attached, Spain) and Clara Ponsatí Obiols (Non-attached, Spain).

© Adobe Stock

Citizens often send messages to the European Parliament expressing their views on current issues and/or requesting action from the Parliament. The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (AskEP) within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) looks into these issues and replies to the messages, which may sometimes be identical as part of wider public campaigns.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 30, 2014: The European Parliament Room (debating chamber) on July 30, 2014 in Brussels.
© Adobe Stock

The European Parliament has recently received a large number of messages related to the request from Spanish authorities to waive the immunity of three Members of the European Parliament: Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (Non-attached, Spain), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (Non-attached, Spain) and Clara Ponsatí Obiols (Non-attached, Spain). Citizens first began to write to the Citizens’ Enquiries Unit on this subject in February 2021, calling on Members of the European Parliament to vote against the waiving and recalling the termination of the mandate of Oriol Junqueras Vies on 3 January 2020. On 9 March 2021, however, the European Parliament decided to waive the immunity of Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.

Please find below the main points of the reply sent to citizens who took the time to write to the European Parliament on this matter (in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Dutch).

Main points made in the reply in English

We are writing to inform you that immunity of Members of the European Parliament is regulated by the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament. Following a request from a competent national authority to the European Parliament that the immunity of a Member be waived, Parliament’s President announces the request to the plenary and refers it to the parliamentary committee responsible for examining the request, the Committee on Legal Affairs. The Committee may ask to be provided with any information or explanation that it deems necessary. The Member concerned is given an opportunity to be heard, and may present any documents or other written evidence.

The Committee on Legal Affairs then adopts, in camera, a recommendation to the whole Parliament to approve or reject the request. At the plenary session following the Committee’s decision, Parliament reaches a decision by a simple majority vote. Following the vote, the President immediately communicates Parliament’s decision to the Member concerned and to the competent authority of the Member State concerned.

In votes held on 8 March 2021, the European Parliament decided to waive the immunity of Members Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. You can find the detailed result of the votes here.

To summarise, regarding Oriol Junqueras, on 19 December 2019, President David Sassoli informed the Parliament concerning the content and consequences of the European Court of Justice judgment in case C-502/19, Junqueras Vies, published on the same day. After an in-depth assessment of the effects of the judgment on the composition of Parliament carried out by Parliament’s services, the President instructed Parliament’s administration to open the mandates of the three new Members: Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont and Antoni Comín. The statement of the President on the European Court of Justice ruling can be found here.

However, taking account of the decision of the Junta Electoral Central of 3 January 2020 and pursuant to the decision of the Tribunal Supremo of 9 January 2020, the mandate of Oriol Junqueras terminated with effect on 3 January 2020. The President therefore announced in the plenary session of Monday 13 January 2020 the start of mandate of the three Members on 2 July 2019, and the termination of the mandate of Oriol Junqueras on 3 January 2020.

Main points made in the reply in Spanish

Le informamos de que la inmunidad de los diputados al Parlamento Europeo está regulada por el Reglamento interno del Parlamento Europeo. Cuando una autoridad nacional competente presenta al Parlamento Europeo un suplicatorio para que se suspenda la inmunidad de un diputado, el presidente del Parlamento lo pone en conocimiento del Pleno y lo remite a la comisión parlamentaria competente, que es la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos. Esta comisión puede pedir toda información o explicación que estime necesaria. El diputado en cuestión tiene la oportunidad de ser oído y puede presentar los documentos o cualquier otra prueba escrita que proceda.

La comisión aprueba entonces, a puerta cerrada, un documento en el que recomienda al Parlamento como institución que apruebe o desestime el suplicatorio. Durante la sesión plenaria subsiguiente a la decisión de la comisión, el Parlamento toma una decisión por mayoría simple. Tras la votación, el presidente comunica de inmediato la decisión del Parlamento al diputado interesado, así como a las autoridades competentes del Estado miembro en cuestión.

En la votación del 8 de marzo de 2021, el Parlamento Europeo decidió suspender la inmunidad de los diputados al Parlamento Europeo Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín y Clara Ponsatí. Puede consultar el resultado detallado de las votaciones en este enlace.

Por cuanto se refiere a Oriol Junqueras, el presidente Sassoli informó al Parlamento el 19 de diciembre de 2019 del contenido y las consecuencias de la sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia en el asunto C-502/19, Junqueras i Vies, publicada ese mismo día. Tras un examen en profundidad por parte de los servicios del Parlamento de las consecuencias de la sentencia sobre la composición de la Cámara, el presidente encargó a la administración que hiciera efectivos los mandatos de los tres nuevos diputados: Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont y Antoni Comín. La declaración del presidente sobre la sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea puede consultarse aquí.

Sin embargo, teniendo en cuenta la decisión de la Junta Electoral Central del 3 de enero de 2020 y tras el auto del Tribunal Supremo del 9 de enero de 2020, el mandato de Oriol Junqueras expiró con efectos desde el 3 de enero de 2020. Por consiguiente, el presidente tomó nota en el Pleno del lunes 13 de enero de 2020 del inicio del mandato de los tres diputados el 2 de julio de 2019 y de la anulación del mandato de Oriol Junqueras con efectos desde el 3 de enero de 2020.

Main points made in the reply in Italian

Desideriamo informarLa che l’immunità dei deputati al Parlamento europeo è disciplinata dal regolamento del Parlamento europeo. Ogni richiesta diretta al Parlamento europeo da un’autorità competente di uno Stato membro e volta a revocare l’immunità di un deputato, è comunicata in Aula dal Presidente del Parlamento e deferita alla commissione competente, ossia la commissione giuridica. La commissione può chiedere le informazioni o spiegazioni che ritiene necessarie e al deputato interessato viene offerta l’opportunità di essere ascoltato e di presentare documenti o altri elementi scritti.

La commissione approva, a porte chiuse, una raccomandazione all’intero Parlamento affinché approvi o respinga la richiesta. Alla tornata successiva alla decisione della commissione, il Parlamento adotta una decisione a maggioranza semplice. In seguito alla votazione, il Presidente comunica immediatamente la decisione del Parlamento al deputato interessato e all’autorità competente dello Stato membro in questione.

Nelle votazioni del 8 marzo 2021, il Parlamento europeo ha deciso di revocare l’immunità dei deputati Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín e Clara Ponsatí. Il risultato dettagliato delle votazioni è disponibile a questo link.

Per quanto riguarda Oriol Junqueras, il 19 dicembre 2019 il Presidente Sassoli ha informato il Parlamento in merito al contenuto e alle conseguenze della sentenza della Corte di giustizia nella causa C-502/19 Junqueras/Vies, pubblicata lo stesso giorno. Dopo una valutazione approfondita degli effetti della sentenza sulla composizione del Parlamento da parte dei servizi del Parlamento, il Presidente ha incaricato l’amministrazione di avviare i mandati dei tre nuovi deputati: Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont e Antoni Comín. La dichiarazione del Presidente sulla sentenza della Corte di giustizia dell’Unione europea può essere consultata a questo link.

Tuttavia, tenuto conto della decisione della Junta Electoral Central spagnola (commissione elettorale centrale) del 3 gennaio 2020 e in applicazione della decisione del Tribunal Supremo spagnolo (Corte suprema) del 9 gennaio 2020, il mandato di Oriol Junqueras è stato risolto a decorrere dal 3 gennaio 2020. Pertanto, lunedì 13 gennaio 2020 il Presidente ha annunciato in Aula l’inizio del mandato dei tre deputati il 2 luglio 2019 e la cessazione del mandato di Oriol Junqueras il 3 gennaio 2020.

Main points made in the reply in French

Nous tenons à vous informer que l’immunité des députés au Parlement européen est régie par le règlement intérieur du Parlement européen. À la suite d’une demande de levée de l’immunité d’un député présentée par une autorité nationale compétente au Parlement européen, le Président du Parlement en fait l’annonce en plénière et la transmet à la commission parlementaire compétente, à savoir la commission des affaires juridiques. La commission peut demander toute information ou explication qu’elle juge nécessaire. Le député concerné a la possibilité d’être entendu et il peut présenter tout document ou autre preuve écrite.

À huis clos, la commission adopte une recommandation invitant le Parlement dans son ensemble à approuver ou rejeter la demande. Pendant la séance plénière suivant la décision de la commission, le Parlement arrête une décision à la majorité simple. À la suite du vote, le Président communique sans délai la décision du Parlement au député intéressé et à l’autorité compétente de l’État membre concerné.

Lors de votes tenus le 8 mars 2021, le Parlement européen a décidé de lever l’immunité des députés Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín et Clara Ponsatí. Vous trouverez le résultat détaillé des votes en cliquant sur ce lien.

Pour rappel, en ce qui concerne Oriol Junqueras, le Président David Sassoli a informé le Parlement européen, le 19 décembre 2019, du contenu et des conséquences de l’arrêt de la Cour de justice dans l’affaire C-502/19, Junqueras Vies, publié le même jour. Après une analyse approfondie des effets de l’arrêt sur la composition du Parlement par les services du Parlement, le Président a chargé l’administration de rendre effectifs les mandats des trois nouveaux députés: Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont et Antoni Comín. La déclaration du Président du Parlement sur la décision de la Cour de justice est disponible ici (en anglais).

Toutefois, compte tenu de la décision de la Commission électorale centrale du 3 janvier 2020 et en application de la décision de la Cour suprême du 9 janvier 2020, le mandat d’Oriol Junqueras a pris fin avec effet au 3 janvier 2020. Par conséquent, le Président a annoncé lors de la plénière du lundi 13 janvier 2020 que le mandat des trois députés avait commencé le 2 juillet 2019 et que le mandat d’Oriol Junqueras avait pris fin le 3 janvier 2020.

Main points made in the reply in German

Ferner möchten wir Ihnen mitteilen, dass die Immunität der Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments in der Geschäftsordnung des Europäischen Parlaments geregelt ist. Beantragt eine zuständige nationale Behörde beim Europäischen Parlament, dass die Immunität eines Mitglieds aufgehoben wird, gibt der Präsident des Parlaments den Antrag im Plenum bekannt und befasst den zuständigen parlamentarischen Ausschuss, den Rechtsausschuss, damit. Der Ausschuss kann die zuständige Behörde um jede Information oder Auskunft ersuchen, die er für erforderlich hält, um sich eine Meinung darüber bilden zu können, ob die Immunität aufzuheben oder zu schützen ist. Der Abgeordnete wird angehört, und er kann Dokumente oder andere schriftliche Nachweise vorlegen.

Der Ausschuss nimmt unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit eine Empfehlung an das ganze Parlament an, den Antrag zu billigen oder abzulehnen. Während der auf den Beschluss des Ausschusses folgenden Plenartagung stimmt das Parlament über den Antrag ab und entscheidet mit einfacher Mehrheit. Unmittelbar nach der Abstimmung setzt der Präsident das betreffende Mitglied und die zuständigen Behörden in dem betreffenden Mitgliedstaat von der Entscheidung des Parlaments in Kenntnis.

In seinen Abstimmungen vom 8 März 2021 beschloss das Europäische Parlament, die Immunität der MdEP Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín und Clara Ponsatí aufzuheben. Die ausführlichen Abstimmungsergebnisse finden Sie über diesen Link.

Zur Erinnerung: Was Oriol Junqueras betrifft, unterrichtete Präsident Sassoli das Parlament am 19. Dezember 2019 über den Inhalt und die Folgen des am selben Tag veröffentlichten Urteils des Gerichtshofs in der Rechtssache C-502/19, Junqueras Vies. Nachdem die Dienststellen des Parlaments die Folgen des Urteils für die Zusammensetzung des Parlaments eingehend bewertet hatten, wies der Präsident die Verwaltung an, die Mandate dreier neuer Mitglieder aufzunehmen: Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont und Antoni Comín. Die Erklärung des Präsidenten zu dem Urteil des Gerichtshofs finden Sie hier.

Unter Berücksichtigung der Entscheidung der Zentralen Wahlkommission Spaniens vom 3. Januar 2020 und gemäß der Entscheidung des Tribunal Supremo (Oberster Gerichtshof Spaniens) vom 9. Januar 2020 endete das Mandat von Oriol Junqueras mit Wirkung vom 3. Januar 2020. Daher teilte der Präsident am Montag, 13. Januar 2020, im Plenum mit, dass die Mandate dreier Mitglieder am 2. Juli 2019 begonnen haben und das Mandat von Oriol Junqueras am 3. Januar 2020 endete.

Main points made in the reply in Dutch

De immuniteit van de EP-leden is geregeld in het Reglement van het Europees Parlement. Wanneer een bevoegde nationale autoriteit het Europees Parlement verzoekt om de immuniteit van een EP-lid op te heffen, deelt de voorzitter dat verzoek mee aan de plenaire vergadering en verwijst het naar de bevoegde parlementaire commissie. In dit geval is dat de Commissie juridische zaken. Deze commissie kan verzoeken om de informatie of opheldering die zij nodig vindt. Het EP-lid in kwestie krijgt de kans te worden gehoord en kan documenten of andere schriftelijke bewijsstukken overleggen.

De commissie neemt achter gesloten deuren een aanbeveling aan voor het hele Parlement om het verzoek goed te keuren of af te wijzen. Tijdens de plenaire vergadering die volgt op het besluit van de commissie, neemt het Parlement bij gewone meerderheid een besluit. Na de stemming brengt de voorzitter van het Parlement het betrokken EP-lid en de bevoegde autoriteit van de lidstaat in kwestie onmiddellijk op de hoogte van het besluit van het Parlement.

Bij stemmingen op 8 maart 2021 heeft het Europees Parlement besloten de immuniteit van de EP-leden Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín en Clara Ponsatí op te heffen. De gedetailleerde uitslag van de stemmingen vindt u hier.

Wat Oriol Junqueras betreft, bracht voorzitter Sassoli op 19 december 2019 het Parlement op de hoogte van de inhoud en de gevolgen van het arrest van het Hof van Justitie in de zaak C-502/19, Junqueras Vies, dat op dezelfde dag was gepubliceerd. Eerst hebben de diensten van het Parlement de gevolgen van het arrest voor de samenstelling van het Parlement grondig beoordeeld. Daarna heeft de voorzitter de administratie opgedragen de mandaten van de drie nieuwe EP-leden – Oriol Junqueras, Carles Puigdemont en Antoni Comín – open te stellen. De verklaring van de voorzitter over de uitspraak van het Europees Hof van Justitie is hier te vinden.

Gelet op het besluit van de Spaanse Junta Electoral Central van 3 januari 2020 en in overeenkomst met het besluit van het Tribunal Supremo van Spanje van 9 januari 2020, eindigde het mandaat van Oriol Junqueras vanaf 3 januari 2020. Daarom kondigde voorzitter Sassoli tijdens de plenaire vergadering van maandag 13 januari 2020 aan dat het mandaat van de drie EP-leden op 2 juli 2019 was begonnen en dat het mandaat van Oriol Junqueras op 3 januari 2020 was geëindigd.


Related Articles
Comments
  • 👉 Pel que sembla el que votem els catalans no li importa a Espanya ni a la UE.
    Menys mal que vivim en democràcia plena, oi ?
    Ens agradi o no tenim que anar prenen nota i començar actuar en consecuencia.

  • Dear Sir/Madam,

    EU’s Parliament should not have accepted the request to lift the immunity of our Catalan MEPs.

    By lifting their immunity EU has not protected a national minority who is being abused. Are Catalan votes less worthy than those of other European citizens? So as a Catalan I feel strongly deceived since this is not the EU that protects human rights.

    Our MEPs are being treated like if they were criminals for having allowed a referendum. EU supports the abusers by enabling them to continue their bullying. You are expected to protect the weak, not the strong.

    If you want to do something useful, stand up for human rights and stop turning a blind eye to what is going on. Fascism is spreading very fast and if you do not act quickly, soon it will be too late.

    Thank you for reading this and if possible do your best to make democracy flourish.

    Yours,

  • It is embarrassing that the eu, an organisation which prided itself on doing the right thing when it came to human rights and anti bullying has become the organ for the denial of human rights and bullying of those who want to better themselves. Shame on you (if you have any left) for joining in on the side of the FASCIST bullies in sPain. So glad the UK left the eu. Everything that sPain touches turns to rot!

  • After the facts that spanish courts presents to claim for the waiving of immunity of these three MEPs, there was a free and democratic election where thousands of european citizens elected them. People knew the facts and despite the fact, they trusted them. This confidence is stronger than any spanish court idea. I voted them and the europarliament is betraying my vote.

  • By waiving the MEP’s rights, EU is no better than China or Turkey. It is shameful that the EU allows political prosecution within its territory, and then tries to lecture other countries like Russia (with obvious results).

    Spain should be sanctioned by its human and civil rights violations, including political prosecution, putting people in jail for using their right to free speech, lack of prosecution in cases of police brutality, hate speech, upholding fascism and denying the Holocaust (these two by members of the Spanish parliament).

  • The EU is failing to defend the vote of many votes for those 3 MEPs. Shame that the EU is there only for the states and not for their citizens.

  • The EU has proven to be just a club of States helping each other to hide their miseries.

    And most EU officers and MEPs are simply a bunch of privileged people just trying to save their huge salaries and allowances, not giving a damn about human and civil rights being torn apart by member States.

    It became crystal clear for Catalans at least since October 1, 2017. Since the day of their referendum onwards they are suffering an unprecedented, outrageous and atrocious repression by the Spanish State, with levels comparable to those of many of the regimes hypocritically condemned by the so-called “western democracies”, but without a single objection from the EU institutions.

    No surprise if a growing number of Catalan citizens are increasingly understanding Brexit and considering a “Catexit” as a reasonable option for the future.

    Because sooner or later Catalonia will become independent, as any serious observer can see. It’s just a matter of time.

  • It’s a shame you haven’t stand up for catalan people. Spain has hit us only for voting!

    They do not let us be free, as catalan people not Spanish. It’s a long history and it’s known.

    We the catalans are not better than Spaniards, it’s only that we are not one of them. And we want to be free!!!!!!!!

  • I could spend hours explaining that this request was from the very beginning full of irregularities, this video sums most of them up:

    https://youtu.be/6gDPf2SCMuk

    But one of the most disgraceful details was that the person in charge of the report of the three cases did not even bother to check whether there were any differences among the charges of the three MEPs and therefore made the same report for all of them. Unluckily for him, Ms Ponsatí had not the same charges as Mr Puigdemont and Mr Comín. Even after a formal complaint of Ms Ponsatí, the procedure was not stopped. Maybe this is why it is stated that each JURE reporter should investigate only one case a piece and not three at a time.
    As a Catalan and European citizen I feel extremely disappointed with the European Union project, which does not defend my political and civil rights, and I also feel cheated as a tax payer when I see so much incompetence and corruption in internal procedures.

    As we say in Catalan, the 13th most spoken language of the EU, yet an unofficial one because Spain does not recognise most of it’s minorities: you’re pissing on our faces and pretend it’s raining.

  • Since what happened in Catalonia on the1st of October 2017 the EU has become a shameful institution regarding Human Rights. The abuse of violence against peaceful citizens and the misuse of justice to repress political divergence in Spain have been repeatedly ignored by the EU. The waiving of the immunity of these three elected members of the European Parliament has been the last deed which reflects the decadence of the EU as an organization defending the human rights.
    It shows how low it esteems the human rights of a part of its citizens, putting it to a low level, closer than ever to countries like Turkey, China or Russia. The EU has lost any moral authority to reprimand any of these countries or any other one where human rights are being abused.
    The EU’s concept is a failure and unless it reacts and changes itself, it will certainly fall down soon enough.
    Shame on the current EU. Give us the pride back of being a member of a decent EU.

  • I think it is simple as this: MEPs immunity was created, as I understand it, to avoid judicial prosecution of political activities. And that is exactly what is happening with the case of Spanish lawfare towards the right of self-determination in Catalonia.

    After the advices of this repression and legal insecurity by AI, the NU and countless international groups and activists for human rights, it is absurd to question that Spain, the country with the most imprisoned artists sentenced to prison in the world, is not using repression against people who is going to expend more than ten years in prison for organising a referendum or urge citizens to participate in peaceful demonstrations.

    Oriol Junqueras still in jail since three years ago without even is normal just cause Spain didn’t accept is immunity.

  • Is this how the EU abides by democratic principles? I did vote for Cales, Clara and Antoni. With this move, the EU not only dismisses the 1 Million people that voted for them, but they are also setting a precedent for vindictive, authoritarian member states to prosecute and remove their democratic rights those who think differently and have different goals. Catalan people seeking independence are not criminals, are just exercising their rights. Spain is blocking it with more than questionable tactics, many of which any dictator will be proud of. All with the blessing and now the help of the EU. The Catalan issue isn’t the first time those who run the EU show their real democratic credentials. All democrats in Europe should be vigilant and ask them to abide by what they claim to be – a democratic institution.

  • As a Catalan citizen and at the same time a British National I’m appalled at the lack of democratic rigour
    of the European Parliament in relation to the immunity issue. To begin with the Eu parliament failed to demand from sPain the respect of immunity of political prisoners like Oriol Junqueras which has been locked in jail by a biased Spanish tribunal that has not respected basic rules from day one. The immunity of Mr Junqueras as a MEP should have stopped the mockery of sPain’s political trial.
    The European Union is supposed to protect the rights of its citizens, my vote and my voice is not respected by sPain nor by the European Parliament. I understand though that the Eu parliament is afraid of imposing sanctions upon sPain as that could ultimately cause a shock in the European economy being sPain in the edge of bankruptcy and of course the Eu doesn’t want to endure another episode like the experienced with Greece.
    To summarise is beyond believe that Eu has allowed political prisoners for 3 years and counting for people who just wanted to vote ! I’m glad though that Britain left EU, the last bastion of democracy …NOT!
    Catalans will ultimately achieve independence no doubt about that but the European Parliament will be eternally discredited for failing to respect the rights of the Catalans.

    Yours sincerely

    FreeCat

  • Civil and political rights are also Human Rights. The EU is failing to defend the Human Rights of Catalan MEPs and also those of the people who voted for them.

    Shame on the European Parliament, shame on EU.

  • Since Spain treats political opponents as criminals, shame on the European Parliament for failing civil rights and EU values.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: