Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain

06/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/21/2021 15:32

Ministry of Foreign Affairs views several recommendations by Council of Europe that question freedom of expression of politicians in Spain as incoherent

The government maintains its general reproach of the report by the Latvian MP, Boriss Cilevics, approved today at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which questions the freedom of expression of politicians in Spain. Although in its conclusions the report backs the action taken by the State and recognises that the pro-independence politicians acted outside of the Constitution and of the law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation considers the recommendations to be incoherent that urge the Government of Span to halt the legal proceedings and extraditions that are pending, which clashes with respect for the principle of the separation of powers.

The report on whether 'politicians should be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of their mandates', the purpose of which was to make an analysis of Spain and Turkey, has developed a great deal in recent weeks in favour of subtler positions that are more respectful of democracy and the functioning of the rule of law in Spain. Several of the recommendations form part of the policy designed by the government some time back to find a way to reach a rapprochement between Catalans, and between pro-independence Catalans and the rest of the people of Spain, such as the opening up of dialogue and the granting of pardons.

However, the original flaw of addressing the cases of Spain and Turkey jointly remains, and of presuming that the pro-independence Catalan leaders were tried for expressing their ideas. This prejudice, although ultimately corrected in Point 8 of the resolution, continues to be present in different parts of the text, particularly in the memorandum of the rapporteur.

Furthermore, the Assembly did not approve two amendments that correct the recommendations that encourage the Spanish authorities to abandon the pending proceedings and extraditions. These are recommendations that directly clash with the basic principle of the separation of powers.

Furthermore, the resolution consolidates the approach of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Right set in the debate on 3 June. This first version recognised that Spain is a thriving democracy, with a rule of law that works, with an independent judiciary and with a constitutional order that should be respected. It also acknowledged that the actions by the pro-independence leaders were unconstitutional and illegal and challenged the rulings handed down by the Constitutional Court.