Manifestation of Long Hope before the ILO in Geneva./ Photo: Long Hope
The Diplomat. 02/11/2018
The Government has assured that it will appear before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to support Spanish sailors who demand the payment of pensions to Norway.
More than 12,000 people do not have the right to receive their pension due to the fact that Norway does not include them in their protection system for workers embarked on their vessels until 1994, according to Long Hope, the Galician association that groups people affected by this situation.
Last May, just a week before the motion of censorship that gave the Presidency of the Government to Pedro Sánchez, opposition parliamentary groups, including PSOE, demanded the then government of Mariano Rajoy to find a solution to the pensions not recognized to the sailors who worked in Norway, either negotiating with the authorities of this country or, directly, filing a claim before the European Court of Human Rights.
In response to two parliamentary questions from Unidos Podemos on this matter, the Government assured in mid-October that, “from the strictly legal point of view, without prejudice to the other measures that the Government has carried out in the past, it corresponds to the Norwegian Government, in the first instance, or to the Norwegian domestic courts, in process of appeal, to pronounce on the existence and amount of said rights”.
“Once the internal channels have been exhausted, the interested parties can file a lawsuit against Norway before the European Court of Human Rights”, and, at that moment, “Spain will appear before the European Court of Human Rights as an intervening third party, in support of the just pretensions of the Spanish sailors, formulating allegations and intervening in his case in the oral hearing”, it continued.
According to the Government, the State Advocacy of the Secretariat of State for the European Union is doing “a detailed follow-up of the conflict” and has assured Long Hope that if the case were brought before the ECHR, “the Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, will provide all the necessary support, as they did when they decided to appear before the Court of Justice of the European Union”.
Apart from these legal measures, the government said, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation is carrying out actions through bilateral relations with Norway”.
Pedro Sánchez “directly raised this issue” during the meeting he held last July in Brussels with the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, who “repeated the traditional Norwegian arguments that the matter is pending resolution before the courts”, the Government added.