15.11.2023 - 18:57
President Carles Puigdemont and Minister Toni Comín, as Members of the European Parliament, have addressed a letter to the Secretary-General of the European Commission, which VilaWeb has had access to. In this letter, they denounce that there is a group of Spanish officials from European institutions, some of whom are qualified and hold high positions within the Commission, who have promoted a letter against amnesty.
This letter is intended to pressure the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, and the Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourová. In the letter, which VilaWeb exclusively reported on, the signatories “use all kinds of concepts and wording typical of Spanish opposition parties, including the far-right party Vox,” according to the Eurodeputies. They also tell the Commission that, since they “have not lived up to their duties as officials of the Union” due to the duty of impartiality required by their positions, “the letter they have sent should be treated as an evasion of the Statute [of EU officials] and acted upon accordingly.”
The letter from Puigdemont and Comín is addressed to the Secretary-General of the Commission, Ilze Juhansone, with a copy to the Director-General of Agriculture and the Director of the European Research Executive Agency, two of the organizations where officials who signed the letter work. “Although they acknowledge that the letter they are sending is ‘exceptional in the context of the development of our functions’ as officials of the Union, the letter has a very high political component,” say the Junts Eurodeputies.
In this sense, they mention that the letter against amnesty “also mentions the statement from the governing body of the Consejo General del Poder Judicial and has the same arguments as the Spanish conservative political spectrum, which has recently organized violent demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona demanding, among other things, the assassination of political opponents and the total suppression of Catalonia’s autonomy.”
The letter promoted by Spanish officials stated, for example, that “Mr. Sánchez has accepted the blackmail of Catalan separatists to exonerate them from any criminal responsibility for the crimes committed in the last ten years […]. Without the slightest respect for the separation of powers, nor for the judiciary and its impeccable judgments regarding the 2017 coup d’état.” It describes the beneficiaries of amnesty as a “caste outside the law.”
With this action, these officials violate the principle of impartiality required of them. Specifically, the EU officials’ statute requires impartiality for all workers in community institutions, specifically in articles 11 and 17, which, while recognizing the freedom of expression of officials, specify that it must be done “with due respect for loyalty and impartiality.” And the code of conduct for members of the European Commission states in Article 2 that “members must respect the dignity of their office and must not act or express themselves, in any way, that negatively affects citizens’ perception of their independence, integrity, or dignity in office.”
See Puigdemont and Comín’s letter sent to the Commission: