European Parliament's lawyers question EU-Moroccan agri-pact
parliament_610.jpg

The proposed EU-Moroccan agricultural agreement lacks clarity on the issue of Western Sahara, according to a newly released legal opinion by the European Parliament’s legal services. The opinion suggests Parliament to examine this ambiguity before giving its consent.
Published: 01.02 - 2011 21:25Printer version    
The legal opinion was drafted in response to questions on the inclusion of the Western Sahara territory in the renewed agricultural agreement with Morocco, and the resulting consequences for the agreement’s legality.

The proposed agreement envisions a substantial liberalisation of agricultural produce, processed agricultural products and fisheries products on EU side, in return for liberalisation of 55% of EU imports from Morocco. The text was signed by the European Council and Morocco on 13 December 2010 in Brussels, but still needs the European Parliament’s approval.

As in the case of the debate on a possible continuation of the EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement, the question of Western Sahara proves to be a thorny issue.

The EP’s legal services state that they “lack information whether and how the proposed Agreement will be applied to the territories of Western Sahara and how it will actually benefit the local people”. Also, information is missing as to “whether the further liberalisation of those goods is in accordance with the wishes and interests of the people of Western Sahara”.

As of today, no consultation has yet been done with the people of Western Sahara, which would be necessary shall the agreement be in line with international law. See a UN opinion on the rights of the Saharawi people over their own natural resources.

Since Western Sahara is not recognised as part of Morocco, both the US and the EFTA states have specifically excluded applying Western Sahara from their free trade agreements with Morocco.

"Under these circumstances, it seems appropriate to clarify these questions with the Commission before taking a position on the consent to the conclusion of the proposed Agreement", the opinion concludes.

Download a summary of the legal opinion from the webpages of the Spanish agricultural organisation COAG here.

This is the second time that the Parliament’s legal services have issued an opinion on the impact of an EU-Moroccan bilateral agreement on Western Sahara. In 2009, the lawyers questioned the legality of the fisheries agreement for not benefitting the Saharawi people, although EU vessels are operating in Saharawi waters.

    


EN ES FR DE AR

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.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

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

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

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

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

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.
The Western Sahara oil curse

tn_san_leon_protest_camps_8_august_2015_610x200.jpg

Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.

WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org 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