Two EU Parliament committees reject EU-Morocco Fish Pact

Today, the European Parliament's Development and Budget Committee both adopted an opinion calling on Parliament to reject the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.
Published: 07.11 - 2011 18:48Printer version    
The Budget Committee deplored the heavy financial yoke of this particular agreement, consuming no less than 25% of the Union's budget line for fisheries. Of all the EU's ongoing bilateral agreements, the accord with Morocco is the least cost-efficient, placing the heaviest relative burden on EU tax payers.

A majority of the budget committee this afternoon agreed to rapporteur François Alfonsi's conclusion:

"The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee of Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to request that Parliament reject the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the fisheries partnership agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco, and expresses its wish that the forthcoming protocol be drafted to include stronger environmental and economic provisions more beneficial to development of all the local populations involved".

Just an hour later, an overwhelming majority of the Development Committee came to the same conclusion. Relying on the European Commission’s external evaluation of the contentious agreement, rapporteur Isabella Lövin reported that the agreement did not have any substantial positive impact on the viability of the fisheries sector from a development perspective. Only 15% of the funds available for sectoral support had been used by Morocco. In addition, EU fishing had only generated 0,04% of jobs in Morocco's fishing sector.

The Development Committee's opinion also laments that the FPA fails entirely at addressing whether the agreement has been concluded in accordance of the wishes of the people of Western Sahara.

Amendments by French MEP Maurice Ponga, Belgian MEP Louis Michel and the Spanish socialists on the committee, seeking Parliament to consent to the EU-Morocco fish deal, were rejected.

“We expect Parliament to follow the recommendations from these committees. We don’t see one single argument why the unethical fisheries should go on. EU institutions have themselves declared it to be ecologically damaging and in violation of international law. Adding that the European Commission's independent evaluation documents that the fish pact with Morocco also constitutes a significant waste of EU tax payers' money, it should be evident that the EU should spend its money elsewhere”, stated Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of the international organisation Western Sahara Resource Watch.

Former legal counsel of the UN, Hans Corell, has stated that the EU fisheries in Western Sahara are in violation of international law. He has often expressed his astonishment on the European Commission's misuse of the report he wrote for the Security Council in 2002 on natural resource exploitation in the Saharawi territory.

In October 2011, the former UN Special Representative to Western Sahara, regretted the EU’s continued fisheries offshore the occupied territory.



24.05 - 2018 / 17.05 - 2018Exclusive: Here are the Moroccan groups that the EU consulted
22.05 - 2018 / 17.05 - 2018EU Commission closes eyes to Western Sahara judgment in Parliament
03.05 - 2018 / 03.05 - 2018Camel researchers move event from Western Sahara to Morocco
25.04 - 2018 / 24.04 - 2018New report on contentious Western Sahara phosphate trade
17.04 - 2018 / 20.03 - 2018Auction for seized Western Sahara phosphates to close
16.04 - 2018 / 16.04 - 2018Polisario will take EU Council to Court over fish deal
16.04 - 2018 / 16.04 - 2018EU will broker new fish deal with Morocco, including Western Sahara
12.04 - 2018 / 12.04 - 2018Camel conference in occupied Western Sahara dishonest about funders
10.04 - 2018 / 10.04 - 2018UN study on Morocco's green energy plans fails at geography
27.03 - 2018 / 26.02 - 2018EU risks recognising Western Sahara products as Moroccan
21.03 - 2018 / 21.03 - 2018EU Commission dead set on fishing in Western Sahara
20.03 - 2018 / 20.03 - 2018Does OPEC consider Western Sahara to be part of Morocco?
20.03 - 2018 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
06.03 - 2018 / 06.03 - 2018Kosmos Energy maintains propaganda site after Western Sahara exit
02.03 - 2018 / 01.03 - 2018What is HeidelbergCement doing in occupied Western Sahara?
01.03 - 2018 / 01.03 - 2018Confirmed: Innophos key client of Western Sahara phosphate rock
28.02 - 2018 / 28.02 - 2018South Africa stands up against the plunder of Western Sahara
28.02 - 2018 / 28.02 - 2018Bermuda shipping company drops Western Sahara
27.02 - 2018 / 27.02 - 2018EU and Morocco announce continued fisheries partnership
27.02 - 2018 / 23.02 - 2018EU Parliament slams Commission on Western Sahara talks


Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents. News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy