European Liberals demand no EU fisheries in occupied Western Sahara
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At their annual Party Congress, the European Liberal Democrats’ Party have adopted a resolution stating that the fisheries agreement between the European Union and Morocco should not be extended, unless the Saharan waters are excluded from the agreement.
Published: 18.10 - 2010 21:52Printer version    
The resolution calls upon all European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) Members to actively and jointly work to prevent any extension of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement as long as Western Sahara is not clearly excluded from its application.

It also calls upon all EU member states to reject any extension of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement as long as Western Sahara is not clearly excluded from its application and demands the European Parliament to reject any extension of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement if the waters offshore Western Sahara remain part of the deal.

“The fish stocks offshore Western Sahara do not belong to Morocco. The resources of Western Sahara belongs to its people, the Saharawis. And according to international law the Saharawi peoples right over its natural resources should be respected”, said Swedish parliamentarian Agneta Berliner from the Swedish Liberal Party when presenting the motion. “This is an ethical matter. A legal matter. And a political matter”, Berliner stated.

Find the complete ELDR resolution, and Mrs. Berliner’s full speech below.

The ELDR Party Congress took place 13-15 October in Helsinki. It’s the annual number one event where over 500 delegates exchange ideas and adopt policies in a European context. ELDR is a European political party, mainly active in the European Union, composed of 56 national-level liberal and liberal-democratic parties from across Europe. As of 2010, the ELDR is the third-largest political party represented in European Union institutions, with 74 Member of the European Parliament and 8 members of the European Commission.

Also the youth wing of ELDR, Lymec, has previously passed a similar resolution.

1) ELDR_resolution on the EU-Moroccan Fisheries Agreement

Resolution proposed by Folkpartiet, Sweden

The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, convening in Helsinki, Finland, on 13-15 October 2010:
Whereas:
- In August 2010, the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement, allowing EU vessels to fish off occupied Western Sahara, was up for renewal;
- Western Sahara is a colonial, Non-Self-Governing Territory and Moroccan sovereignty claims over it are unfounded;
- The natural resources of Western Sahara should be governed according to international law, by respecting the Saharawi people’s right over its natural resources, taking into account the people’s wishes and interests;
- In its opinion of July 2009, the Legal Service of the European Parliament concluded that the conditions for respecting international law have not been met;
- According to the Lisbon treaty the assent of the European Parliament is required for the adoption of international fisheries agreements;
- Both the Saharawi representative, formally recognised by the UN, the Polisario Front, and all major Saharawi civil society organisations have made clear statements against the present agreement and any new version that includes Western Sahara;
- In May 2010, Morocco furthermore refused the European Parliament permission to visit the territory in order to investigate the implications of cooperation;
- The United States of America and EFTA, in compliance with international law, clearly exclude Western Sahara in agreements with Morocco.

Calls upon:
- All ELDR Member parties to actively and jointly work to prevent any extension of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement as long as Western Sahara is not clearly excluded from its application;
- All EU member states to reject any extension of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement as long as Western Sahara is not clearly excluded from its application;
- The European Parliament to reject any extension of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement as long as Western Sahara is not clearly excluded from its application.



2) Statement by Mrs. Agneta Berliner (Folkpartiet liberalerna, Swedish Liberal Party) on a draft-resolution on the EU-Moroccan Fisheries Agreement


Thank you Madam Chair
Dear fellow-liberals

In 1975 Western Sahara in northern Africa was invaded by Morocco and has been occupied since then.

Moroccos claims to Western Sahara have been rejected by the International Court of Justice.
And the clams are not recognised by the UN.

The fish stocks offshore Western Sahara do not belong to Morocco.
The resources of Western Sahara belongs to its people, the Saharawis.

And according to international law the Saharawi peoples right over its natural resources should be respected.

Never the less the EU-Moroccan Fisheries Agreement of 2006 opened for EU fisheries in West Saharian waters.

Through the EU-Moroccan Fisheries Agreement, the EU gives an unfortunate support to Moroccos unfounded claims over occupied Western Sahara.

And the conditions for respecting international law have not been met, according to the Legal Service of the European Parliament.

In May (2010) Morocco refused the European Parliament permission to visit the territory in order to investigate the implications of cooperation. And Morocco has still not (up to this day in October 2010) presented any evidence to prove that the Saharawi people has been in any way consulted or that the fisheries activities in Western Sahara are to the benefit of the Saharawi people.

Western Sahara should therefore be excluded from the renewed EU-Moroccan Fisheries Agreement.

This is an ethical matter.
A legal matter.
And a political matter.

Let me quote the former UN secretary-general for legal affairs, ambassador Hans Corell on this matter. On a conference on international law in 2008 Mr Corell said, that it is
”…obvious that an agreement…that does not make a distinction between the waters adjacent to Western Sahara and the waters adjacent to the territory of Morocco would violate international law.”

Ambassador Corell also added: ”As a European I feel embarrassed.”

So the Swedish liberals in Folkpartiet now call for all liberals in Europe to speak with one voice in this matter. And that we work together to reject any extension of the EU-Moroccan Fisheries Agreement – as long as Western Sahara is not clearly excluded from the agreement now that it is up for renewal.

And from Folkpartiet liberalerna we ask you to support our resolution.

    


EN ES FR DE AR

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