“Clear lack of impartiality”; “the criteria of independence and justice are not being followed”; “use of the European institutions in a partisan way” … These are some of the complaints that the socialist (S&D), green (Greens / EFA) and the Left (GUE / NGL) groups have raised to the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli (PD / S & D), in relation to the behavior of Dolors Montserrat, head of the PP delegation in the European Parliament, as president of the Petitions committee so far this legislature.
The PP blocks in the Eurocamara with Vox and Cs the debate on violations of rights in Hungary while questioning the rule of law in Spain
The three parliamentary groups, in a letter signed by some thirty MEPs, consider that Montserrat is “thus using the petition commission for its own political benefit”, and report that “in certain matters, especially in those petitions related to critical issues with the management of the Government of Spain, many of which are sponsored by leaders and activists of the Spanish Popular Party, the president of the commission is basing her criteria on a political position and the criteria of independence and justice that should govern the performance of the person who presides over a body like this, which is, after all, the gateway for citizens to the European institutions “.
Thus, socialists, greens and the unitary left consider that “the use of European institutions in a partisan way, especially in a commission designed to give a voice to the citizens of the Union is a disastrous example for the citizens of the European Union “and claim that Montserrat is” using the petition commission for its own political benefit. ”
Socialist MEP Cristina Maestre, a member of the Petitions Committee, explains: “Since the beginning of the legislature, the president has been using her institutional role to shamelessly benefit the Popular Party, introducing as much as possible petitions that can serve to attack to the Government of Spain. The commission is being used by the Popular Party in a shameless way to attack the government. For example, the last debated petitions were presented by an autonomous deputy in the Madrid Assembly [para hablar de ETA] or a former deputy of the Popular Party in Barcelona [para cuestionar el Estado de alarma]”.
“Since before the pandemic began, Dolors Montserrat has used his position in the Petitions commission to oppose the Government of Spain,” says the IU spokesperson in the European Parliament and member of the commission, Sira Rego: “She is making a partisan use of a commission that serves so that Europeans and Europeans present complaints of problems that occur in their territories and that she herself, with the collaboration of Ciudadanos and Vox, is turning into a kind of court against the Government “.
“The PP has been attacking the work of the coalition government in all areas of the EU for months and this has been one of the game boards. And she is not in that position, which has specific powers based on parliamentary work in Europe and that it requires total impartiality, to act as a battering ram against the Government, “concludes Rego.
“Boxing ring to make opposition in Spain”
To justify their complaints, the three groups give some examples “of various Spanish petitions that the president is prioritizing in the Petitions Committee for the benefit of her own party in Spain.” Among others, the signatories cite the petitions “Relating to the intervention of the Spanish Minister José Luis Ábalos to prevent the Venezuelan Minister Delcy Rodríguez from entering Schengen territory“. And they add:” In accordance with article 227 of the TFEU and the internal regulations of the European Parliament, petitions that deal with ‘a matter belonging to the Union’s fields of action’ will be admitted for processing. According to the current Treaty on the Union, these requests did not refer to a matter over which the EU has competence. ” as the European Commission has said several times Since the beginning of the controversy over Ábalos’ meeting with Rodríguez, the competence to determine whether the State had breached the prohibition of the Venezuelan vice president from entering Spain rested with the Government itself.
“In the same way, the president of this commission allowed bring the petition on the still unsolved crimes perpetrated by the terrorist group ETA back to the committee for debate, a request that has already been discussed three times and for which an EOL has been approved [visita de información]”the letter states.
And adds: “Likewise, the Spanish requests related to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic are a sample more of this partisan attitude that we denounce. In this case we have even observed how the president of the PETI commission decided to change the criteria of the secretariat to make admissible a petition in which the commission secretariat had already ruled in favor of inadmissibility. […] making an interested use of the Treaty to request the admissibility or inadmissibility of the petitions based on the partisan interests of the president“.
“We denounce that with her attitude the president has managed to turn the Petitions Committee into a kind of boxing ring in which to make political opposition in Spain,” conclude the three groups: “We urge the president to cease the partisan and biased treatment of the petitions “.
The letter is signed by Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, Petitions commission coordinator); Cristina Maestre (S&D, vice president of the Petitions committee); Ibán García del Blanco (S&D); Andris Ameriks (S&D); Sylvie Guillaume (S&D); Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D); Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero (S&D); Clara Aguilera (S&D); Adriana López (S&D); Javi López (S&D); Eider Gardiazábal (S&D); Estrella Durá (S&D); Alicia Homs (S&D); Cesar Luena (S&D); Nacho Sánchez (S&D); Monica Silvana (S&D); Isabel García (S&D); Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D); Marc Angel (S&D); Sira Rego (GUE / NGL, coordinator of the Petitions commission); Manon Aubry (GUE / NGL Co-Chair); Alexis Georgoulis (GUE / NGL); Anne Sophie Pelletier (GUE / NGL); Konstantinos Arvanitis (GUE / NGL); Stelios Kouloglou (GUE / NGL); Clare Daly (GUE / NGL); Mick Wallace (GUE / NGL); Manuel Bompard (GUE / NGL); Idoia Villanueva (GUE / NGL); María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (GUE / NGL); Giorgos Georgiou (GUE / NGL); Tatjana Ždanoka (Vice President of the Petitions Committee, Greens / EFA); Margrete Auken (Greens / EFA, Petitions commission coordinator); and Thomas Waitz (Greens / EFA).