Today at Commission, no meddling in the judicial process

A European arrest warrant for Puigdemont will be “entirely a matter for judicial authorities” between the Spain and Belgium, the Commission said | Marta Perez/EPA


A European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont will be a matter for Spain and Belgium, the Commission says.

On the agenda: Catalonia, Daphne Caruana Galizia, COP23, Brexit, next week’s agenda.

On the podium: Annika Breidthardt, coordinating spokeswoman for economic and financial affairs.

No meddling in Catalan crisis: With around 15 questions directed at the podium, the latest developments in Catalonia were the main topic of the daily press conference. However, the Commission refused to budge on its position — repeatedly stating the latest events in Madrid and Barcelona, including Thursday’s decision by Spain’s High Court to jail former members of the Catalan government without bail pending trial, remain an internal matter for Spain.

And no meddling in the European Arrest Warrant: The Commission also remained extremely cautious when answering questions on widespread expectation that Spanish prosecutors will on Friday issue a European Arrest Warrant against the former Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont. He’s currently in Brussels but has been charged by Spain’s attorney general with crimes including rebellion and sedition. The Commission said any arrest warrant is “entirely a matter for judicial authorities,” adding that the EU has no role in judicial cooperation when it comes to hiring bail bonds services for potential convicts.

The funeral of the Maltese journalist: Noting that EU flags outside the Commission buildings are flying half-mast, Breidthardt repeated the Commission’s condolences to the relatives, colleagues and friends of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist killed last month. Her funeral takes place Friday and the Commission will be represented by its head of representation in Malta. The Commission, however, has no power to set up an investigation into the murder, Breidthardt said, after Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans replied to a letter from worldwide media outlets asking for an EU investigation into the murder.

“Tangible progress” predicted for COP23: Breidthardt said the Commission was expecting some tangible progress as the COP23 climate conference gets going next week in the German city of Bonn, especially on how countries are implementing their commitments to the 2015 Paris climate agreement. She added the gathering will focus mainly “on the technical work” ahead of COP24, which will take place in Poland in December 2018.

Brexit: The Commission doesn’t have an agenda for the next round of Brexit talks, which takes place in Brussels on November 9 and 10.

Next week: President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Wednesday as commissioners host representatives of the Bulgarian government in Brussels to prepare the upcoming country’s presidency of the Council of the EU. You can find the full week’s agenda here.

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Source: Politico

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