The Vice-President of the General Court of the European Union refuses the new request for the suspension of waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Mr Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Mr Antoni Comín i Oliveres and Ms Clara Ponsatí i Obiols
On 13 January and 10 February 2020, the European Parliament received requests for waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Mr Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Mr Antoni Comín i Oliveres and Ms Clara Ponsatí i Obiols, who are elected Members of Parliament (‘MEPs’). Those requests, made by the President of the Second Chamber of the Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court, Spain) in criminal proceedings concerning, inter alia, alleged offences of sedition, were intended to ensure that the execution of the European arrest warrants issued against the MEPs continues.
By decisions of 9 March 2021, the Parliament waived the immunity of the three MEPs. On 19 May 2021, those MEPs brought an action before the General Court of the European Union, seeking the annulment of those decisions. They take the view that the Parliament has failed to ensure their ability, as MEPs, to exercise their fundamental rights as representatives of the European Union’s citizens and infringed their rights protected by several articles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
On 26 May 2021, the MEPs lodged a first application for interim measures in which they requested the Vice-President of the General Court to suspend the operation of those decisions. They alleged that their arrest and potential surrender to the Spanish authorities would cause them serious and irreparable harm and would prevent them from exercising their duties as MEPs. By an order of 30 July 2021, the Vice-President of the General Court dismissed the MEPs’ application for interim measures on the ground that they had failed to show that the condition relating to urgency was satisfied (‘first order for interim measures’).
It follows, inter alia, from that order that, in the criminal proceedings at issue, the Tribunal Supremo submitted, on 9 March 2021, a request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice. That request had the effect of staying the criminal proceedings. Given that the request for a preliminary ruling concerns the execution of the European arrest warrants issued in those criminal proceedings, which include the warrants relating to the MEPs, it was considered that this called for the suspension of the execution of the warrants, as the Spanish authorities had essentially stated. It was inferred from this that there was nothing to suggest that the Belgian judicial authorities or the authorities of another Member State could execute the European arrest warrants issued against the MEPs and could surrender them to the Spanish authorities. The serious and irreparable damage pleaded by the MEPs could not be classified as damage which is certain or established with a sufficient degree of probability. The MEPs had therefore failed to show that the condition relating to urgency was
On 23 September 2021, Mr Puigdemont was arrested at Alghero Airport (Italy) in execution of the European arrest warrant relating to him. On 1 October 2021, the MEPs lodged a second application for interim measures, in which they advance new evidence.
By its order of 26 November 2021, the Vice-President of the General Court dismissed that second application for interim measures.