Throughout the legislature, the right used the institutions of Europe, and especially the European Parliament, to wake up the Government and sow doubts about the situation of the rule of law and democracy in Spain. One of the sides they attack is the situation of linguistic immersion in Catalonia. In October 2022, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament agreed to the request of Ciudadanos to send a mission to study whether the legal obligation that 25% of education in Spanish is fulfilled. At that time the circumstances were not right to send the mission – because of the proximity of the election – and finally the trip was next week. However, progressive groups in the European Parliament will stand by the mission.
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No social democratic (S&D) MEP, nor from the greens (Greens/EFA), nor from the left (The Left) will be part of the delegation that will travel to Catalonia to meet with representatives of the families of students and teachers, NGOs and civil society organizations, as well as judges and regional authorities, in addition to visiting two schools that apply different levels of linguistic immersion. The official mission consists of a liberal MEP from Renew who will serve as the head of the delegation, Yana Toom; two from the EPP (Peter Jahr and Laurence Sailliet; one from the ECR (Kosma Złotowski, from the Polish ultranationalist party Law and Justice); another from Identity and Democracy (Gianna Gancia, the Italian League) and one from the left will be registered (Maria Angela Danzi, of the Five Star Movement), as reported by the European Parliament in a statement.
In the mission scheduled for next December 18, 19 and 20, the parliamentarians of PSOE and ERC, Cristina Maestre and Diana Riba, respectively, will participate as partners of the mission. MEPs cannot participate in official missions in the country from which they come. They are also accompanied by the president of the PETI Commission and spokesperson of the Spanish PP, Dolors Montserrat, with her colleague Rosa Estaràs; Ciudadanos MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa; and Vox’s Jorge Buxadé.
“The agenda is so politicized, and adapted for the strategy of undermining the three rights, that no S&D representative from outside Spain is ready to join the joke,” explained Maestre (PSOE) to elDiario.es.
“The Greens / ALE will not officially participate in the mission because we do not agree with its objectives and we do not trust the impartiality and transparency of the mission,” said sources from the parliamentary group.
Progressive forces spent the entire legislature criticizing the use of the Petitions Commission by Montserrat, in his capacity as president. Already in 2020 they sent a complaint to the former president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli. The final battle took place last week when he introduced almost a monograph on the situation of the rule of law in Spain on the agenda of the next session in January.
In addition, the three right-wing groups took the opportunity to leave the debate on a complaint by the workers of the Galician Public Radio and Television Corporation about the manipulation of information by TVG that was presented months ago. In that case, they took advantage of the 14-14 technical tie that left the Left without representation after the departure of Sira Rego to the Government. “The alliance between the right and the extreme right is also scandalous in the European Parliament,” criticized the BNG MEP, Ana Miranda, who criticized that the PP led the MEPs who were not part of the voting commission.