Member States decide on EU-Morocco Fish Pact’s fate tomorrow
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Tomorrow, the Ambassadors of the EU Member States will examine whether a qualified majority favouring the new EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol can be reached.
Published: 29.10 - 2013 16:08Printer version    
If tomorrow's meeting demonstrates that a clear majority of Member States will vote for the proposed Protocol, the decision to sign the EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol will be formalised at the next Council meeting of the EU Fisheries Ministers, presumably mid-November.

Several countries have already announced that they do not favour the Commission’s proposed Protocol, as the deal opens for fishing in the waters of Western Sahara – a Non-Self Governing Territory that is largely occupied by Morocco in blatant violation of international law.

Sweden and Denmark make no secret of their opposition, and several other countries are said to contemplate abstention.

But observers say that it is once again Germany that will determine the outcome.

In 2011, when the European Commission proposed a one-year extension of the previous EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol, Germany ended up voting in favour in the very last minute, after having voiced its concerns on the deal in the months prior to the vote. Germany’s sudden change of mind led to a qualified majority in Council for the suggested extension, which was later voted down in the European Parliament.

    


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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.
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