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The recognition by the Spanish Constitutional Court that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and minister Toni Comín are fully-fledged MEPs and have acted as such in the European Parliament is not just a no-brainer to those who have always defended it, but also a slap in the face for Spain's Central Electoral Commission (JEC) which, without any logic, has maintained that in order to be a member of the European Parliament, one must first swear on the Spanish Constitution, a procedure that must be carried out in Spanish territory. Since 2019, the JEC has perpetuated this stupid debate based on the pretense that Puigdemont and Comín could not take office as MEPs and also that they do not enjoy the immunity from prosecution that the position entails.

Now, a full session of the Constitutional Court has put an end to the false controversy that the JEC, contravening European regulations, had repeatedly jumped into, basing its argument on article 224.2 of Spain's electoral law, which says that within five days of being proclaimed as victor, the elected candidates must swear or promise obedience to the Constitution before the Central Electoral Commission. And it adds: after this deadline, the JEC will declare vacant the seats corresponding to the deputies in the European Parliament who have not complied with the Constitution and suspend all the prerogatives that they might be entitled to by reason of their position. All this, until the aforementioned compliance occurs. With this ploy as its starting point, the JEC informed the European Parliament at the beginning of this month of November that the two Catalan MEPs had not acquired the full status of MEPs.

Since Puigdemont and Comín are residing in Belgium for political reasons, after their departure into exile in 2017, it was obvious that the JEC wanted to force their oath for their arrest or leave them without a seat so that they would not enjoy immunity. The European Parliament, under the mandate of its late president David Sassoli, of the Italian Democratic Party, interpreted in accordance with the law that the mere proclamation as an elected MEP conferred on that person the rights and attributions of the position, without further administrative procedures.

By a de facto route, the Constitutional Court repeals an outlandish regulation from Spanish electoral law that does nothing but attempt to back an absurd precept with no value at European level. It will be necessary to see more calmly the text of the sentence of which the judge Cándido Conde-Pumpido was spokesperson and which will surely not have pleased the JEC. European law once again comes to the aid of the Catalan independence movement, since the constitutional judges are able to speak very clearly because Puigdemont and Comín had already found recognition abroad for the rights denied to them in Spain.

Rarely did something so obvious need a ruling, in this case by the Constitutional Court, to make the Spanish Electoral Commission respect European legality, whether the commission members like it or not.