Spanish far-right party Vox announced on Tuesday (14 January) in Strasbourg that it is suing the European Parliament for having recognised fugitive Catalan separatist leaders Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comin as MEPs.
VOX leader Santiago Abascal argued that EU Parliament President David Sassoli “exceeded his authority” by confirming their election and letting them take their seats on Monday (13 January), a decision the party hopes the ECJ will void.
Although the two former members of the Catalan government had been elected to the European Parliament in May 2019, having fled Spain in 2017 after being charged for their involvement in the organisation of an illegal referendum on Catalan independence, they could not appear before the Electoral Board for fear of detention.
In December, the European Court of Justice ruled that members of the European Parliament have the right to immunity from the moment they are officially elected leading to Puigdemont and Comin recognition as fully-entitled MEPs.
Although they benefited from the decision, the text was a response to a pre-judicial question on the scope of immunity rights for EU lawmakers, regarding the situation of former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras who has been held in custody for over two years and ran in the EU elections too. (Beatriz Rios | EURACTIV.com)