Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) sent a letter 20 December 2011 to Mr. John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy.
"We believe that trading products from Western Sahara, and labelling them as ‘Moroccan’ entail serious legal, ethical and political implications for the EU and for the consumer. We would like to hear from you what your office will do to make sure that produce from Western Sahara is not labelled as being Moroccan", the letter stated. Download the full letter here.
On 23 February 2012, the Commissioner sent a reply to WSRW that country of origin issues are outside the remit of their policy portfolio.
The Commissioner wrote that the WSRW request on labelling of Western Sahara produce was forwarded to the Cabinet of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
"I am sure that, in collaboration with the relevant Commission Services, a reply addressing your concerns will shortly be forthcoming", the Commissioner replied.
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.
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.
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.
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.