EU and Morocco today initial new fish deal including Western Sahara
fishing_aaiun_610.jpg

Confirmed: the EU and Morocco have concluded their negotiations for a new Fisheries Agreement and Protocol of Implementation. The waters adjacent to the occupied Western Sahara will be expressly included.
Published: 23.07 - 2018 14:25Printer version    
Talks that have commenced in April have come to fruition: the EU and Morocco are reported to initial a new Fisheries Agreement and its implementing Protocol today, 23 July, in Rabat, Morocco.

The joint-statement of the EU Commission and Morocco announcing the new agreement does not contain any reference to Western Sahara. The statement, that is only available in French, reads as follows (translation by WSRW):

"The Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union have agreed on the content of the future sustainable fisheries agreement and its Protocol of application. Therefore, the two parties have agreed on the provisions and the improvements made to these texts in order to maximize the impact and benefits for the local populations in the concerned areas, while respecting the principles of sustainable management of fisheries resources and equity.

The Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union welcome the constructive spirit that prevailed in these negotiations, which confirms the commitment of both parties to strengthen their partnership in two strategic sectors: agriculture and maritime fishing.

Both Parties engage to take the necessary measures for the entry into force of the Fisheries Agreement and its Protocol as soon as possible, taking into account their respective procedures. The two Parties will remain in close contact in the spirit of consultation and partnership that unites them during the transition period until the entry into force.
"

This development has taken place despite the fact that the Court of Justice of the EU in February 2018 ruled that Morocco and the EU are in no position to enter into a fisheries deal covering Western Sahara.

"As no effort has been made to seek the consent of the people of Western Sahara, a new deal with Morocco for these waters will be illegal. We call on the EU to support the UN peace process in Western Sahara, and not lend a sign of legitimacy to Morocco's groundless claims to the land and waters it occupies", stated Western Sahara Resource Watch coordinator Sara Eyckmans regarding the new development.

The previous Protocol expired on 14 July 2018, forcing EU ships to leave Moroccan waters. Vessels were supposed to have left the waters of Western Sahara on 27 February 2018, following a judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidating EU fishing in Western Sahara through a deal with Morocco - though several vessels from Spain, France, Denmark and Germany have been spotted fishing in Saharawi waters since.

There is still little information available about the actual content of the newly negotiated Agreement and Protocol. There is no information yet on the financial part of the deal, i.e., how much the EU will have to pay Morocco to fish in both the waters adjacent to Morocco, and those adjacent to Western Sahara - as the latter element is unmistakably clear: Western Sahara's waters have been explicitly included in this EU-Morocco agreement, as had already been settled in the EU Commission's negotiation mandate. The approval of the EU Member States - the EU Council - of that mandate triggered the Western Sahara liberation movement Polisario to initiate legal proceedings against the Council.

The proposed texts still require green light from both the EU Member States and the EU Parliament, while also having to go through the legislative process in Morocco.

The Moroccan government was quick to claim the fruitful negotiations as a political victory. Morocco's Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicated that "the negotiations on the renewal of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement concluded between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union have resulted in the inclusion of the Moroccan Sahara, which is a step that strengthens Morocco in its quality of  the sole interlocutor to negotiate international agreements including the Sahara".

“The attempts by Morocco’s opponents to question this exclusive jurisdiction have been both disavowed and rejected,” says the Ministry, noting that this stage has turned “a new page on the path of overcoming the judicial vicissitudes and vain attacks by third parties”.

"Throughout the negotiation process, Morocco has been clear and firm on its national fundamentals: the Kingdom has never concluded – and will never conclude – an international agreement that compromises its sovereignty over its southern provinces", says the Ministry. "Morocco has once again clearly demonstrated its determination to uphold its fundamentals, because “its territorial integrity is, and will remain, a red line that cannot be subject of any compromise”.

In Madrid, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, expressed Spain's satisfaction with the future Agreement and its Protocol of Application, stating that it  "demonstrates the stable and deep relation between the EU and Morocco". He furthermore stressed the importance of Spain in this negotiation process, with Austria - currently holding the EU Council presidency - allowing Spain to take over chairmanship of the working group for fisheries regarding the conclusion of the agreement.

As early as Friday morning, 20 July, while the EU Commission was still shrouded in silence, the Spanish Minister for Agriculture Luis Planas broke the news on Spanish Radio Nacional, that the fisheries agreement "had already been settled on the basic aspects". Spain is considered the main beneficiary of the agreement, being the home country to the overwhelming majority of fishing vessels that are affected by the partnership with Morocco.

Since you're here....
WSRW’s work is being read and used more than ever. But our financial situation is tough. Our work takes time, dedication and diligence. But we do it because we believe it matters – and we hope you do to. If everyone who reads our website or likes us on Facebook, would contribute to our work – 3€, 5€, 27€ … what you can spare – the future of WSRW would be much more secure. You can donate to WSRW in less than a minute here.



    

Top
News:

12.10 - 2020 / 12.10 - 2020Russian fisheries still absent from Western Sahara
07.10 - 2020 / 07.10 - 2020West African controversial fish imports resume
05.10 - 2020 / 02.10 - 2020LATEST: No more Swedish supplies to the Bou Craa mine
08.09 - 2020 / 16.06 - 2020Soon 10 years of wrongful imprisonment: release Gdeim Izik group now
08.09 - 2020 / 07.09 - 2020DHL: ignoring Saharawi rights for 5 parcels a day
24.08 - 2020 / 24.08 - 2020Concrete plans for third solar plant in occupied Western Sahara
10.08 - 2020 / 18.07 - 2020Voltalia to construct wind farm in occupied Western Sahara
28.07 - 2020 / 22.07 - 2020Will Deutsche Post's AGM provide clarity on Western Sahara operations?
27.07 - 2020 / 01.07 - 2020New Indian construction company in occupied Western Sahara
27.07 - 2020 / 20.07 - 2020Continental still unclear about future supplies to Western Sahara
22.07 - 2020 / 22.06 - 2020Conflict Bitcoin miner keeps silent on Dakhla wind farm plans
19.07 - 2020 / 13.07 - 2020Siemens yet again evades questions on Western Sahara
16.07 - 2020 / 29.06 - 2020Namibia slams Spain for failing to respect Saharawi rights
03.07 - 2020 / 02.07 - 2020Swiss supermarkets ban produce from occupied Western Sahara
03.07 - 2020 / 11.06 - 2020HeidelbergCement cites local benefits, ignores consent
02.07 - 2020 / 21.06 - 2020Fishmeal: German government data confirms import controversy
26.06 - 2020 / 21.06 - 2020Turkey: biggest funder of occupation of Western Sahara
25.06 - 2020 / 05.05 - 2020These are the vessels that provide fuel for the occupation
23.06 - 2020 / 22.06 - 2020Protesters set up roadblock to stop conflict minerals in New Zealand
13.06 - 2020 / 13.06 - 2020WSRW urges shareholders to challenge Continental




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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies

tn_law_hammer.jpg

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.
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.

WSRW.org News Archive 2020
WSRW.org News Archive 2019
WSRW.org News Archive 2018
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