A senator from French-governed Northern Catalonia, François Calvet (from Emmanuel Macron's party), has scolded the anti-democratic attitude shown by Spain on the Council of Europe, after the manoeuvre last week in which Spain's representatives pressured to stop the publication of the conclusions of a report on Catalonia, which criticized the continuing efforts to use European Arrest Warrants against the exiled politicians, the espionage with Pegasus against pro-independence figures and the lack of progress in the dialogue table. In the end, the rapporteur, Latvian politician Boris Cilevics, chose to formally withdraw the conclusions, although he did publish the full report.
Calvet was outraged by the Spanish attitude and expressed his thoughts in a statement. "Spanish parliamentarians have mobilized to prevent the publication of the follow-up report. As a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, I express my perplexity with this attitude contrary to the spirit of the committee on legal issues and human rights. "In my view, it is incomprehensible for a Council of Europe member state that considers itself a democracy to devote all its energy to preventing the publication of the conclusions of a follow-up report," he added.
Un nou informe del Consell d'Europa renya a l'estat espanyol perquè continua amb la repressió a Catalunya i no facilita el retorn dels exiliats. També lamenta que encara hi hagin oberts processos penals vinculats a l'1O i que no s'hagi reformat els delictes de sedició i rebel·lió pic.twitter.com/e44xhvCIlT— Josep Puigbert (@puigbertjosep) June 29, 2022
According to the senator, the "behaviour of the Spanish representatives showed a serious lack of respect" towards the European institutions and their work. "I would like to recall that the Council of Europe is a body dedicated to promoting and preserving democracy and human rights," he stated. "Many members of the committee would have preferred that the Spanish representatives devoted their efforts to the effective implementation of the recommendations debated and approved by the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe," he said.
Calvet recalls that he was present in the debate of the report, which was a follow-up to the report released a year ago on the question of whether "political leaders should be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of their mandate in Spain and Turkey," which in 2021 was strongly critical of many of Spain's actions with regard to treatment of Catalan political leaders and the independence movement. The Northern Catalan representative explains that, with the follow-up report, the committee welcomed last year's pardoning of the political prisoners, but expressed fear that that could be challenged in the courts. "With regard to the other recommendations that were made in 2021, the committee noted with displeasure that there are still many criminal proceedings open against present or past Catalan officials, as well as arrest warrants issued against political leaders living abroad", in reference to the exiled politicians.