Polisario tries EU Council over new EU-Morocco agricultural deal
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The representation of the people of Western Sahara has today initiated legal proceedings against the EU Council over their decision to conclude a trade agreement for occupied Western Sahara with Morocco.
Published: 30.04 - 2019 10:38Printer version    
The Polisario Front, the UN-recognised representation of the people of Western Sahara, has today requested the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to annul the Decision of the European Council of 28 January 2019 to adopt a new Association Agreement with Morocco that will explicitly apply to the territory of Western Sahara.

In December 2016, the CJEU had ruled the Association Agreement between the EU and Morocco, and specifically the Protocols regulating trade in agricultural products between the two parties, to be inapplicable to Western Sahara. The Court argued that Morocco had no sovereignty over the territory, nor any mandate to administer it. Western Sahara, the Court stated, is a territory that is "distinct and separate" from any country in the world, including Morocco. In addition, the Court highlighted that the people of the territory did have a right to self-determination, and thus that their consent must be obtained in order for any agreement to lawfully affect their land.

The principles underpinning that ruling have since been repeated by the Court in its rulings on the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement and the EU-Morocco Aviation Agreement.

In spite of these decisions by the Court, the EU institutions approved a new agricultural agreement with Morocco for Western Sahara that did not respect the right to consent of the Saharawi people. In Council, Sweden was the only EU Member State to oppose the agreement, stating that the Court decisions had not been taken into account. The European Parliament backed the deal on 16 January 2019. Find the names of the European Parliamentarians that supported the agreement here.

Mhamed Khadad of the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front stated that: "The Polisario Front regrets the attitude of the European decision-makers that have done everything to circumvent the Court's decisions, abusing their political and financial power. By this legal action, we underscore our faith in justice."

The Polisario Front has also announced it will soon take legal action against the European Council's Decision to conclude a new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco that will also be applied to the waters adjacent to Western Sahara, adopted on 4 March 2019.


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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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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.
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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.
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Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
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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.

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