EFE Brussels 20 January 2021
Oriol Junqueras, ’former vice president’ of the Generalitat /
The General Court the European Union (EGC) declared “inadmissible” this Wednesday the appeal of the former vice president of the Generalitat of Catalonia and leader of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, against the European Parliament (PE) for not adopting urgent measures to confirm his immunity. The court assured that the denial of immunity to Junqueras by the European Parliament “is not a challengeable act.”
On July 2, 2019, the first plenary session of the European Parliament was held after the elections of May 26 of that same year, but Junqueras, elected in the elections, could not attend because he was in provisional prison for his involvement in the Catalan independence crisis and had not been granted permission to swear or abide the Constitution.
Thus, the Central Electoral Board declared its seat vacant, but on July 4 2019, ERC MEP Diana Riba asked the President of Parliament, David Sassoli, on behalf of Junqueras and on the basis of the internal regulations of the European Parliament, to adopt urgent measures to confirm the immunity of the Catalan politician. In August, the President of European Parliament informed Riba that his application had been denied and in October 2019 the Supreme Court sentenced Junqueras to 13 years in prison and 13 years of absolute disqualification, with the consequent deprivation of all his public positions, even if they are elective, and inability to obtain new ones.
In November 2019, the politician filed an appeal against the denial of the request to confirm his immunity by the President of European Parliament. On January 13, 2020, Sassoli informed the plenary session of the beginning of Junqueras’ mandate as a member of the European Parliament on July 2, 2019 and its expiration on January 3 of last year, the day on which the Central Electoral Board had determined that the ERC leader did not enjoy immunity. It was the same opinion that the Supreme Court had issued before and that the European Parliament later complied, so it withdrew recognition of Junqueras as an MEP.
Not against a voidable act
The European Parliament already considered that the independentist leader’s appeal was inadmissible because it is not directed against an act that may be the subject of an appeal for annulment according to community treaties. If the defendant requests it, the EGC can decide on the inadmissibility without going into the merits of the matter. In this case, and given that the Parliament requested a decision on the inadmissibility, the court has considered that it has sufficient information and has decided to resolve without continuing the procedure.