Catalan election results must be respected “whatever the outcome”, say MEPs
A group of members of the European Parliament visit Catalonia on election day encouraging the EU to respect the results
A group of European Parliament (EP) members visited Catalonia on December 21 to observe an election that comes after months of unprecedented political tension over the push for independence. The MEPs regretted that the European Union (EU) did not authorize an official delegation of international observers, and said that the EU—as well as the Spanish government—should respect the results of the vote.
“What happens today needs to be respected,” said Martina Anderson, an Irish MEP for the Sinn Féin and member of the European United Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) group. She stressed the importance of “getting behind the people of Catalonia whatever the outcome”.
“Madrid doesn’t want us to be here, which is already a reason to be cautious,” said Mark Demesmaeker, a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists EP group for the New Flemish Alliance.
“Madrid doesn’t want us to be here, which is already a reason to be cautious”
Mark Demesmaeker · European Conservatives and Reformists MEP
The MEPs stressed the importance of the Catalan election at the European level. “Maybe this is one of the most important elections that we’ve had this year because they are being carried out in very strange circumstances: with political leaders in jail or on exile in my country,” said Demesmaeker. “It is not according to what you would call democratic rules.”
“We haven’t come on official duty, like we wanted to, because the EU didn’t assign us an observation mission, and we’re sorry about this, because its role is to act as an observer and regulator for democracy,” stated the French MEP Marie-Pierre Vieu, also from the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) group. Vieu also stated that after this December 21 it’s necessary to be able to “take up dialogue again,” between Catalonia and Spain, she hopes with EU as an “interlocutor.” “Today we have to find a solution,” she insisted, adding that from her point of view there should not be “political prisoners.” The MEP also stressed that everyone who traveled to Barcelona has “much political diversity,” noting that however they all “share in the defense of human rights and the sovereignty of the people.”