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The European Union is turning away from its fundamental values!

Prof. Dr. Axel Schönberger

Jul 3, 2019 — 

The European Union is turning away from its fundamental values and denying elected Members their seats in Parliament!

It is an unprecedented scandal in the history of the European Union, which represents a break with the previous understanding of democracy in Europe: The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, refuses to allow three MEPs, elected to the European Parliament from Catalonia, to sit and vote in this institution, although their election was duly published in the Spanish «Boletín Oficial de Estado»! If this decision is to stand, the newly elected parliament will no longer be considered democratically legitimate for the duration of the entire parliamentary term!

Around 1,700,000 voters voted for three Catalan candidates, the legitimate Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, a likewise legitimate minister of his government, Toni (Antoni) Comín, who were deposed in violation of Spanish constitutional law, and the legitimate Minister of Economy and Finance and Vice-President of Catalonia, Dr. Oriol Junqueras, and elected them to the European Parliament with a convincing vote. As a result and since their election, the three new MEPs enjoy immunity, which Spain denies.

Already after the last parliamentary election in Catalonia on 21 December 2017, illegally enforced by Spain, Spain has shown how a democratic election result, but unpopular to the ruling classes, can be counteracted with evil legal moves and shameless bending of the law. One candidate, who was to be elected President of Catalonia, was not released from «protective custody», called «pre-trial detention», contrary to a clear request by the United Nations not to deprive him of his right to stand as a candidate, so that he could not be elected (Jordi Sànchez); another candidate was taken into «pre-trial detention» one day before his planned inauguration as President of Catalonia, and was also denied the opportunity to take part in Catalonia's sessions as a Member of the Catalan Parliament and, as planned, to be elected President of Catalonia. It is well known that it is not the Catalan people, but Spain's politicians and judges who want to be allowed to decide who rules the richest Spanish de facto colony that Spain subdued just over three hundred years ago without, despite many efforts, effectively breaking the Catalan nation's desire for freedom.

The fact that there is now no functioning constitutional state in Spain, but that Spanish criminal law is currently being arbitrarily abused in a way which is contrary to Human Rights in order to terrorize and frighten the Catalan people, that criminal prosecution is being carried out without correspondingly defined and legally enshrined criminal offences, that politicians are to be taken out of circulation by means of criminal law without it being possible to prove even the slightest criminal offence to them from an objective point of view, is known to every international observer who has familiarized himself with the facts. The fact that Spain alone is not responding to the clear request of the Working Group against Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations and is stubbornly refusing to release its political prisoners, to compensate them adequately and to initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible for their abusive prosecution, as the responsible Working Group of the United Nations has suggested to Spain after an elaborate investigation procedure, clearly shows that Spain is not responding to the demand of the Working Group against Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations, that and how here a member state of the European Union, which has to answer for the largest and most serious Human Rights violations, which there were and are in the past years in Western Europe, and which violates in blatant way against the charter of the United Nations and the large Human Rights pacts, is in the process of developing to a ‛Paria-state’, which prepares to leave the community of the civilized states of the world and to go into a self-chosen isolation as well as on a way of shame and ignominy. Who has learned something from the history of Germany and Italy, open your eyes and do not remain silent! Those who remain silent agree and will one day have to be accused of having been on the wrong side of history!

The Europeanisation of the conflict in Catalonia, which was already evident in the refusal by European courts to execute European arrest warrants issued by Spain in the manner prescribed by Spain, the internationalisation of the issue of Catalonia, which began, at the latest, with the opinion of a United Nations body, the Working Group against Arbitrary Detention, the increasingly open hatred of the Catalans on the part of a large part of the Spanish population, which is manifested in social networks and everywhere in Spain and which in some cases has parallels to the way of expression and metaphor of German National Socialists towards the Jews right down to the choice of words, shows the magnitude of this historical conflict, which so far has not led to the deaths due to the exemplary peaceableness of the Catalan people, but which in principle could escalate and degenerate as a result of the Spanish side's actions contrary to human rights. In the 2017 election campaign, Spanish Minister Josep Borrell even went so far as to compare the political situation in Catalonia with an «open wound» that had to be «disinfected» by legal means in order to restore the ‛health of the people'! It's unbelievable!

And now this! Now the rights of 1.7 million Europeans — citizens of the Union! — and their choice will be trampled underfoot and will be punished! If the European Union allows this to happen, its end is sealed. If it betrays democracy and the rule of law on the altar of Spain's national interests, it will no longer have any reason to exist in the long term. When institutions turn their backs on the democratic will of the people and even try not to do so, no one should be surprised if sooner or later the peoples of Europe will turn their backs on the current elites and their institutions. Does it really have to come to this? Is it really so difficult to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights? Why do the leaders of Europe, such as Tusk, Juncker and Tajani, not want to stick to what the European Union is constantly telling and preaching to other states? Do they want to treat the Catalans as 'second class'-citizens, as Spain is currently demonstrating, and deny the fundamental nature of Human Rights?

According to the peculiar Spanish view of the law, MEPs from Spain are only considered to be MEPs, if they have taken an oath to the Spanish constitution personally and only in Madrid. According to Spain, the electoral act and the publication of the election results in the Official Gazette did not establish either parliamentary immunity or a mandate as a Member of the European Parliament. If that were the case and if Spain were actually entitled to impose national requirements of this kind on European law, then at least the question would have to be justified as to why the very place where the oath was to be taken should be of such central importance. Is an oath sworn not in Madrid, but in Brussels, for example, of lesser weight? Does an oath on the Spanish Constitution, sworn anywhere in Europe or elsewhere, count less than one whose words are spoken in the Spanish capital?

When one of the lawyers of the legitimate Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his legitimate minister Toni Comín wanted to hand in the oaths sworn by them and notarized in Madrid to the competent authority in due time, he was officially forbidden to do so. An oath certified by a notary shall therefore not be an oath? Obviously it is just a cheap trick to either deny the two elected MEPs their mandates or to lure them under a pretext to Spain and imprison them there immediately despite their already given immunity! The fact that Spain has no scruples in this respect was evident in the case of the legitimate Catalan Vice-President, Dr Oriol Junqueras. When the latter, who was still being held by Spain in ‛pre-trial’ or protective custody, against the clear request of the United Nations Working Group against Arbitrary Detention, was asking to swear the necessary oath on the Spanish Constitution to the competent body in Madrid, he was refused this summarily in order to ensure that he could not take up his mandate as a Member of the European Parliament. What kind of illegal barbarism is this? All those who have taken part in this serious form of perversion of justice, or who have been involved in it, should be brought to justice, if not before a Spanish tribunal, then before an international one! Spain is therefore asking two elected MEPs to travel to Madrid to swear on the Spanish Constitution, is not accepting their notarised oaths and, in the case of Dr Junqueras, is showing what the other two MEPs in Spain would expect, namely immediate arrest without any possibility of making the required oath. Which Member State of the European Union has violated the principle of good faith and its own and European law in a comparable way, as Spain has done these days? If Spain continues to break the law and trample on Human Rights to such an extent, it cannot and must not continue to belong to the European Union!

The European Court of Justice is now required to safeguard the rights of the elected representatives Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Dr. Oriol Junqueras until a final decision has been reached, otherwise even the nullity of all decisions of the European Parliament during a period of several months could be a possible consequence. The European Court of Justice's power of decision now does not merely mean that the will of some 1 700 000 citizens of the Union to vote will be realised or destroyed, but no more and no less than the future of the European Union, which in the long term will not and no less can not endure if it participates in the oppression of the Catalan people and the political persecution of its elected representatives.

And it's still the same: Europe is silent and watching! But its Supreme Court must now speak and decide whether it subordinates the law to political and national calculation or whether it helps European law and human rights to victory, at least in this case. Vt bonum felix faustumque sit!

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