Around 30 MEPs demand release of Catalan “political and social leaders”
Representatives from different European Parliament groups urge EU to mediate in Catalonia to ensure that the fundamental values are respected
Around 30 MEPs demand the release of Catalan “political and social leaders” that are currently in jail in Madrid, the end of Article 155, and the intervention of the European Union in the political conflict between Spain and Catalonia in order to achieve “a negotiated solution” and an “agreed referendum”. MEPs presented the EU-Catalonia Dialogue platform in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Some of the members that are part of the platform include the daughter of one of the founding fathers of the EU, Barbara Spinelli, the former Slovenian Foreign Minister, Ivo Vajgl, and the vice-president of the S&D, Tanja Fajon.
The members of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue platform also wrote a letter addressed to the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and his predecessor, Martin Schulz, in order for them to speak out about the imprisonment of Catalan officials, especially of the imprisonment of Raül Romeva and Oriol Junqueras, who had also been MEPs.
A group manifesto
"We are deeply concerned about the critical point that the situation in Catalonia has reached, and that’s why we have decided that joining our voices and carrying out joint actions is the strongest way to claim that the EU acts responsibly and promotes dialogue in order to find a solution,” said the MEPs in the group's manifesto.
"We’ll follow the situation in Catalonia closely to ensure that the fundamental values of the EU are respected"
EU-Catalonia Dialogue platform
According to the manifesto, the MEPs stated that they’ll take action to achieve four main objectives: “the release of the Catalan officials and social leaders that are in prison”; “the suspension of Article 155, through which elected public servants have been deposed and the Catalan institutions intervened”; the “mediation” of the European institutions in the conflict, which they consider a “European affair”; and the achievement of an “agreement between Spain and Catalonia that should drive to an agreed referendum”.
A European affair
“As members of one of the main institutions of the European Union, which represents the voice of the citizens of the EU, we’ll follow the situation closely,” said MEPs. In addition, they noted that they want to “ensure that the fundamental values of the EU are respected” in Catalonia and highlighted that “healthy democracies need dialogue to evolve and should always encourage the promotion of peace”.
"EU leadership has reiterated on several occasions that violence can never be an instrument in politics,” they said. Therefore, the MEPs asked the European institutions to urgently “take actions” in order to ensure that “human rights are fully respected within the EU borders”.
Among the members of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue platform, there’re the social-democrats vice-president Tanja Fanjon; the liberal Ivo Vajgl; members of the Greens, such as José Bové, Igor Soltes, Bodil Valero or Bart Staes; members of GUE/NGL, such as Lynn Boylan, Martina Anderson, Matt Carthy, Barbara Spinelli; or members of the European Conservatives and Reformists, such as Mark Demesmaeker. Catalan MEPs Jordi Solé, Josep Maria Terricabras and Ramon Tremosa are also part of the platform, as well as the Basques Izaskun Bilbao and and Josu Juaristi and Galician Lidia Senra, among others.