The Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzlez Laya, this weekend in Barcelona.Andreu DalmauEFE

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has approved this Monday a resolution that is aligned with the pro-independence theses and with the latest movements of the Government: it requests the pardon for those convicted of the procs and the reform of the crimes of sedition, rebellion and embezzlement, the imposed by the Supreme Court. To that he adds the recommendation to renounce the Eurorders against Carles Puigdemont and the rest of the fled from Justice.

The approved report, prepared by the Latvian deputy of the Socialist Group Boris Cilevics, is not a formal condemnation nor does it have binding or legal effects, but it speaks of a lack of freedoms and associates what happened in our country with the situation in Turkey, which without It is certainly a problem of image and reputation. And an additional weapon for criticism from the independence movement. The result was 70 votes in favor, 28 against and 12 abstentions.

The text has been harshly answered by the spokesperson for the popular Europeans, as well as by individual Spanish deputies, both socialists and popular.

The origin of everything is a report entitled “Should political leaders be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of power?” that agitates what happened in recent years in our country, in Turkey, the repression of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 1-0 violence, the convictions for sedition and even the role of pardons that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has announced for tomorrow. It was started in 2019 by a Latvian deputy, from the pro-Russian minority, who has never hidden his good harmony with the independence movement. The initial idea was to denounce what was happening in Turkey, but it was added to Spain, creating a situation that was difficult to digest.

The Council of Europe is not an institution of the European Union, despite the confusing name. And the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is just one of the advisory bodies of the Council, an intergovernmental organization of 47 states. What has been voted on today is not the report of the Latvian deputy, but a draft resolution that has incorporated different amendments to the original text to “retouch, clarify, what is not correct”, in the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Gonzlez Laya.

In any case, it is primarily a political, pressure and image instrument. It has no binding effect of any kind. The PACE can make recommendations (with a two-thirds majority) to the Committee of Ministers, the highest instance, but this is not the case with this report. There is no request or suggestion for action. It is a political statement endorsed by the Assembly, which has been twisted from certain sectors to present it as an international condemnation of Spain, its political and judicial system. But it is also being used, from other fronts, perhaps as an excuse to justify decisions in the key of national politics.

“The report suffers from an original sin: questioning the freedom of expression of politicians in our country and connecting Spain with Turkey. Everything that follows comes from an error of approach. The author himself acknowledges that in Spain there is no prosecutes any politician for their opinions or for the exercise of freedom of expression but for their actions “has assured Gonzlez Laya, who in public assures that the remaining reading of the report is positive:” we are satisfied that it is recognized that the rule of law It is strong in Spain, full, solid, “he added this afternoon from Luxembourg.

However, this is not the prevailing idea or the one that remains in many continental citizens. The report and the resolution do not say what the independentistas point out, but it does not leave Spain either as it would like or seems to defend the Government. That is why the Foreign position is much more nuanced than on other occasions. He sees “correct and incorrect” elements in the report, and instead of attacking the whole (perhaps because approval seemed certain) he has preferred to highlight the “lack of coherence” of a document that asks the Executive to “interfere with power That is not knowing how the separation of powers works, “according to Laya.

But there are elements that the Executive does not dislike, those that do fall within the capacities of the Government. Like the invitation (well that, an instance to consider them) to consider pardons or to eliminate the crime of sedition. In any case, the report itself only binds the rapporteur and the plenary session of the Assembly. What they have done is to take note of it, but they do not debate or discuss it. There have been interventions and several Spaniards have taken the floor (there are 12 members in an Assembly of 324). But the result is a political opinion, with the weight that each one wants to give it. At the level of the European Union, these types of procedures and resolutions do not receive any kind of attention. They do not exist, they are not discussed, discussed or taken into account. One thing is the recommendations of other advisory bodies, such as GRECO or the Venice Commission, or a decision of the Court of Human Rights, but not internal disputes in an Assembly characterized by scandals, corruption cases or lobbying of countries of dubious reputation. democratic.


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