The European Comission It is already aware of the legal text on the amnesty and its intention is to provide a legal and political assessment as soon as possible. The acting Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, has sent a letter today to the Vice President of the European Commission, Vera Jourová and the Commissioner of Justice, Didier Reynders, in which he attaches the amnesty law proposal registered yesterday by the PSOE and requests a meeting to “explain the Government’s position.”
The European Commission is fully aware of the urgency, the importance, the pressure. And once the text has been officially sent, the legal services will make an in-depth assessment and an equally official position is expected, from the Commission and not from one of its commissioners in a personal capacity, as was the Belgian’s letter. Didier Reynders from last week. The first impression, not definitive at all and after an informal reading of the document by some of those responsible for the issue, is that the wording “is what it should be”, after the constant exchanges and warnings of the previous weeks. Brussels had set two non-negotiable conditions, and both seem to be reflected: that there be no type of mechanism for monitoring sentences for the so-called lawfare and that the amnesty does not cover misuse of community funds. And Article 2.e, on exclusions, expressly reflects “crimes that affect the financial interests of the European Union.”
A relief for the Government that was soon blurred by the mouth of an ally. After weeks, months, of biting his tongue, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Joseph Borrell, spoke this Monday about the PSOE pact with Junts and ERC. “I know of the political agreements reached with two pro-independence parties and certainly those agreements cause me some concern or quite a few concerns,” he stated, without wanting to go into a more in-depth assessment. “This is a difficult problem about which at the time, not now, I will express myself,” added the veteran socialist leader, head of the PSOE list in the last European elections and who for years, as minister or not, fought with the independence movement. Borrell does not support, especially the revision in the pacts of the entire narrative of the process, which he suffered in first person. But he does not want to boycott the inauguration. “It is evident that I cannot mix my role with personal considerations regarding a problem of Spanish domestic policy,” he concluded his argument from Brussels, which does not help to diffuse the controversy.
The silence until now does not mean that the institutions will or can take a stand. It is a fundamental issue for an important Member State, there are hundreds of thousands of people on the streets and hundreds of emails from citizens and letters from interest groups, judicial associations or political parties arrive at their offices every day. But if the legal ruling maintains the first impression, any political position taken will be less forceful than what the protesters who now fill the streets expect.
The amnesty, the lawfare, government agreements and investiture are a national problem, and their solution is a national issue. The EU, understood here as its institutions rather than its member states, sets legal limits, some clear red lines, puts constant pressure in private and sometimes in public, but your scope for action is limited. Those who expect the Union to intervene to stop the agreement between the PSOE and Junts, the Amnesty Law and indirectly the formation of a new Government are very likely to be disappointed. Those who assume that there will be no comment or criticism from Brussels, as if it were a homogeneous, technocratic, neutral supranational entity, are going to be equally disappointed.