14 JUL 2019 – 21:31 CEST
Carles Puigdemont, in an activity in Dublin. Niall Carson Getty Images
Everything is going so fast that it seems like it was a century ago. But no. Last Friday marked one year since the German court of Schleswig-Holstein denied the euro-order delivery of the ex-president Carles Puigdemont to the Spanish justice. It was the first of several setbacks reaped by the investigating judge, Pablo Llarena, in Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Those decisions of national European courts allowed for the independence movement to launch a formidable propaganda campaign. But the honeys have turned to bile. Supranational European institutions and courts begin to change these reeds into spears. On July 3, the European Commission denied Puigdemont’s request to activate against Spain the sanctions of Article 7 of the Treaty of Lisbon for not “respecting minorities” (sic): the same Brussels initiated against Warsaw for governmentalizing the selection of Polish judges… exactly the same as the illegal Law of legal and foundational transition of the Catalan Republic of 7/9/2017.
The day before, the fugitive refused to attend the demonstration that he had summoned in Strasbourg, to protest because the EU Court of Justice (CJEU, with headquarters in Luxembourg) denied him (and the former Toni Comin) 24 hours before the precautionary measure to ensure their access to the status of MEP. The court ruled that the House acted correctly by excluding the fugitives. They were not included in the list of elected representatives sent by Spain, and the European electoral norm refers to the fact that the discussion on the requirement (not fulfilled) of complying with the Constitution “has to be resolved by the national authorities”.
The scant attendance at the protest was funeral, a new fiasco in the, on the other hand, persevering attempt to “internationalize the conflict”. The convener did not appear, fearing that France would deliver him to Spain applying the bilateral agreement (“of Málaga”, 2002) that allows both countries to deliver criminals without going to a judge. His proclamation by video claiming that “it is not our Europe” this one where “the good guys” do not have “guaranteed rights” was an evidence of his opportunism: apparently pro-European if it suits him, anti-European of the ultra branch when Europe rejects his claims. The rejections of the Parliament, the Commission and the CJEU are preceded by three resolutions against the pro-independence parties from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR, with headquarters in Strasbourg), where some plan to appeal in the last instance when the Supreme Court issues its ruling in the judgment of the procés.
The main one is that of May 28. Its great importance for the future of the procés lawsuits has been ignored by the plaintiffs and hardly valued and underlined by its rivals. The sentence is transcendent because it validates the prohibitions of the Spanish Constitutional Court against illegal parliamentary actions, even though those prohibitions limited fundamental rights. In reality it does not validate them only as legitimate, but proclaims them as “necessary”.
Strasbourg denied the request of the president of the Parliament Carme Forcadell and other 75 ex-MCPs against the suspension by the Constitutional Plenary of 9/10/2017 that should have drawn the consequences of the recent illegal referendum of 1-O: activate the declaration of independence. The ECHR rejected that this suspension suffocated the freedom of assembly and expression of the MCPs with a strong argument: the “interference” of the Constitutional – which it recognizes as such – in those rights was “necessary in a democratic society” for the maintenance of the “public security”, “the defense of order” and the “protection of rights and freedoms of third parties”, the opposition MCPs, “in the face of abuses committed by the parliamentary majority”.
The magistrates also recalled that “it is mandatory to comply with the rulings of the constitutional courts”; that you can campaign to change a law but always “f the means used for this purpose are legal” and “that the proposed amendment is compatible with democratic principles”; and they also recalled that the Constitutional Court honored a “pressing social need”, that of guaranteeing constitutional order. Faced with this devastating sentence, neither the Govern nor Waterloo nor the pro-sovereignty platforms have triggered any campaign of agitation and disobedience. Maybe because it was originally written not in Spanish, but, alas, in French.