8 Written explanations of Antoni COMÍN I OLIVERES

Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (A9-0004/2020 - Guy Verhofstadt)

We do not like the decision taken by the British people in June 2016 but we must respect it. The decisions of the citizenship must be respected. We would love to see the UK to come back to the EU, and this will happen when, among other things, the EU has become a truly democratic project where no one will ever think to exit. We have voted in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement but with a heavy heart.
Verification of credentials (A9-0015/2020 - Lucy Nethsingha)

. ‒ We support this report because it is important to make a thorough verification of credentials. We also support the fact that Mr Oriol Junqueras i Vies is a Member of the European Parliament and as such the EP should not make any decision regarding his rights as MEP, as well as asking all Member States, all EU institutions, and the EU as a whole, to respect and guarantee the rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Gender pay gap (B9-0069/2020, B9-0073/2020, B9-0083/2020, B9-0084/2020)

. ‒ We support this initiative because, as many others, we are also in favour of reaching the complete equality between men and women. The gender pay gap has to be corrected also thanks to the help of the European Commission and the other European institutions and agencies.
An EU strategy to put an end to female genital mutilation around the world (B9-0090/2020, B9-0092/2020)

We support this motion because we deplore female genital mutilation everywhere, wherever it is practiced or defended. The EU must push for an end to such an abhorrent deed, one of the most diminishing and violent made to women, and above all the young.
Proposed mandate for negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (B9-0098/2020)

. ‒ We support this motion because we also look forward to the best partnership possible between the EU and the UK. We do not wish to see any kind of punishment behaviour from the EU, and no distrustful behaviour from the UK. The EU and the UK have a historic opportunity to remake their relationship for the next decades, one of mutual respect and cooperation. This is what our citizens and businesses demand from MEPs and officials. In our case, the UK is Catalonia’s fifth destination in terms of exports, and nearly 40% of Catalan SMEs tend to export to that country. We will not let them down. Finally, we deplore and reject the point of this motion that says that any agreement as regards Gibraltar will need Spain’s assent. Gibraltar has been a British overseas territory since the beginning of the 18th century, and any agreement on Gibraltar will need the assent, mainly and mostly, of Gibraltar’s people.
The illegal trade in companion animals in the EU (B9-0088/2020)

We support this motion because the welfare of animals is linked to the welfare of people. Trafficking in animals, many of them not vaccinated or without the necessary permits and certifications, means trafficking in diseases. This report reminds us that more than 70% of new diseases are of animal origin. The saddest thing is that this matter could be avoided: the Commission must strengthen the implementation of Regulation 576/2013 and impose sanctions on those stakeholders who profit from this traffic. In addition, the illegal trade of pets in the EU undermines the proper functioning of the single market because there is a bad practice in the digital sale purchase. Finally, customs authorities should increase cooperation, communication and training between themselves in terms of pet trade, and we would like to encourage all those who read this that the best is not to buy a pet, but to adopt it.
Stocktaking of European elections (A9-0211/2020 - Pascal Durand)

This report puts forward very important points that should be addressed in order to improve the democratic functioning of the EU, such as the establishment of a single EU electoral authority, the need to increase the role of European political parties, and the reform of the democratic process for choosing the Commission President before the next European elections of 2024.Despite our support for these points and the excellent work carried out by the rapporteur, Mr. Pascal Durand, we feel compelled to vote against the Report. The reason is that the amendments deploring the fact that elected MEP Oriol Junqueras was not able to take his rightful seat because of the non-recognition of his immunity by the Spanish Supreme Court, which keeps him unfairly imprisoned, and stressing that the European Parliament is the only body competent to waive the immunity of its Members, were rejected.We consider that the case of Mr. Oriol Junqueras is of the utmost importance for the upholding of the Rule of Law in the EU. The vote against mentioning the ECJ ruling of December 19th affecting Oriol Junqueras and myself also shows that some MEPs in this house do everything they can to deny reality.
European Citizens' Initiative - Minority Safepack (B9-0403/2020, B9-0405/2020)

The European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Minority SafePack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe’ is a clear proof of the will of the 1 123 422 European citizens calling on the European Commission to protect EU national minorities from some centralist Member States that discriminate against their linguistic minorities.We have always supported this proposal and we find it very positive for the defence of Catalan language speakers, since it denounces linguistic discrimination and promotes the presence of the language in culture, in the school system, in media and public administrations.Unfortunately, we abstained in our final vote because we do not find the proposal in the education system ambitious enough, as the only ones who have their fundamental rights threatened by language impositions are members of minorities.We call on the European Commission to accept this European citizens’ initiative and to respect the will of European citizens.