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Press release


EFA MEPs: Elections review ignores 'flagrant democratic violations'

Press release from the EFA MEPs in the European Parliament


MEPs have debated and adopted a report taking stock of the 2019 European elections.

Whilst the review contains some positive points, such as increased voter turnout and the spitzenkandidaten process, it ignores some of the flagrant democratic violations related to the election, notably with regard to Catalonia.

For this reason European Free Alliance MEPs were unable to support the report.

EFA Group President Jordi Solé explained:

"It is unbelievable that a review of the last European elections completely ignores the fact that three democratically elected MEPs from Catalonia were prevented from taking up their seats by the actions of Spanish authorities.

"One of those - Oriol Junqueras - remains imprisoned.

"This represented the disenfranchisement of over one million EU citizens.

"More outrageously still, preventing Catalan MEPs from taking up their democratically elected mandates flew in the face of legal rulings.

"And somehow this is not worthy of mention in a review of the last European elections?”

Oriol Junqueras was imprisoned in Spain for his role in organizing a peaceful and democratic independence referendum in Catalonia. Whilst in prison, he was elected to the European Parliament in 2019 receiving over one million votes, but prevented from taking up his seat. Despite an EU Court of Justice ruling upholding Junqueras’ immunity, he was still prevented from taking up his seat.

EFA MEP François Alfonsi said:

"Frankly, what has been left out of this report is more relevant than what has been left in.

"It is shocking that there is no mention of the scandal which meant that for the first time in its history, the European Parliament wasn't fully constituted at the start of this current term. This was due to the absolute disgrace of Spanish authorities preventing duly elected MEPs from taking up their seats. This attitude of the European Parliament has been sanctioned by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the report does not even mention it! Is it worthy of a democratic institution?

"It is insulting to EU citizens that the European Parliament should deliberately choose to ignore such an outrage. It is unworthy of European citizens.

"We do not support democracy by ignoring reality - which is effectively what this report does."