14.11.2023 - 18:30
Actualització: 14.11.2023 - 18:33
A group of Spanish officials in the European Union (EU) has started circulating a letter to gather support from their colleagues against the amnesty and the agreement between the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Catalan pro-independence parties to invest Pedro Sánchez as the Prime Minister. In the email sent by the first five signatory officials of the letter, they express their intention to collect “the maximum number of signatures possible,” potentially reaching hundreds, with the commitment that the letter will not be made public. The purpose is to send the letter, along with the list of signatures collected, to the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, and the Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, to pressure them to take action against the amnesty. The letter they intend to send, as reported by VilaWeb, characterizes the 2017 Catalan independence referendum as a coup d’état and labels the beneficiaries of the amnesty as a “caste operating outside the law.” With this action, these officials violate the principle of impartiality required of them.
Specifically, the EU officials’ statute demands impartiality from all workers of EU institutions, particularly in Articles 11 and 17, which, while recognizing the freedom of expression of officials, specify that it should be done “with due respect for loyalty and impartiality.” Additionally, the code of conduct for members of the European Commission states in Article 2 that “members shall respect the dignity of their office and shall not act or express themselves, in any manner whatsoever, in a way that adversely affects the perception that citizens have of their independence, integrity, or dignity in the office.”
Among the promoters of the letter, according to VilaWeb’s findings, are members of the Commission with important technical positions and a long history in the institution, including a Head of Projects at the Commission, the Head of Sector at the European Research Executive Agency, an international relations advisor lawyer, and a member of the Directorate-General for Agriculture of the EU.
The letter has a strong political content, with harsh criticisms of the acting Spanish socialist president: “Mr. Sánchez has accepted the blackmail of the 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, or for the judiciary and its impeccable judgments on the coup d’état of 2017.”
They address Commissioners Reynders and Jourová, telling them that the letter, which they assume is “exceptional in the context of the development of our duties,” “aims to denounce before the European Commission the extremely serious situation that Spain is experiencing, openly contrary to the constitutional order and basic principles of the European Union, such as the equality of citizens before the law, judicial independence, and the guarantee of the rule of law.” They also they claim, without being true, that “some of the potential beneficiaries of the amnesty bill are facing charges of particularly serious acts of terrorism within the European scope.”
Finally, they recall that Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union “provides for measures to be taken when there is a clear risk of a breach or the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2 [of the Treaty].” Article 7 envisages the suspension of the rights of a Member State upon the proposal of the European Council when a constant violation of fundamental rights such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law is established.
This letter was promoted at the end of last week, just after Commissioner Reynders’ decision to send a letter to the Spanish government requesting explanations about the details of an amnesty bill that did not even exist at that time. Today, the Spanish government has already sent the text to Reynders.
You can see the letter that Spanish EU officials are promoting against the amnesty to send to the Commission here: