Sweden: Products from Western Sahara not part of EU-Morocco trade deal
Swedish minister for trade clarifies that no states in the EU recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, and that therefore products made in the territory cannot be given trade preference under the EU-Morocco trade agreements.
2012/13:276 Agricultural produce from Western Sahara
Hans Linde has asked me what initiatives I will undertake to make sure that Sweden clarifies that agricultural products of origin in Western Sahara are not included in the EU's trade agreement with Morocco.
The position of the government relating to Western Sahara is well known. Neither Sweden nor any other EU state has recognised Western Sahara as being part of Morocco. The government therefore do not consider that the EU trade agreements with Morocco are applicable for produce from Western Sahara. This has on numerous occasions been stated by representatives of the Swedish government in EU contexts. I personally raised the matter latest at a meeting with the EU ministries of trade at the 29 November 2012. (Unofficial translation by Western Sahara Resource Watch.)
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 five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.