These are the MEPs who voted for trade with occupied Western Sahara
Today, 444 (!) members of the European Parliament decided to ignore the EU case law and vote to include occupied Western Sahara into a trade agreement With Morocco. See here which parliamentarians who voted for this travesty of justice, and whom tried to prevent it.
In relation to the proposed extension of EU-Morocco trade relations into the part of Western Sahara that is illegally occupied by Morocco, the European Parliament today cast its vote on several issues. The information about how each parliamentarian voted is now public.
The MEPs had to relate to three main issues pertaining to the proposal today:
1. To refer the proposed agreement to the EU Court of Justice to verify its compliance with EU-law, in particular after the Parliament's own legal services could not confirm that it did. This would mean that, in the first round, the Parliament did not vote to give or withhold its consent, but would first await advice from the EU's highest Court. 2. Whether to adopt a Resolution on the proposal of extending EU-Morocco trade into Western Sahara, that would outline Parliament's views. Since the Parliament can only vote for or against a proposal, but not amend it, a Resolution is the only available mechanism for Parliament to share its views. Such a Resolution is however not binding onto the EU Commission. The Resolution on the trade deal was drafted by MEP Patricia Lalonde, who resigned as rapporteur following media reports that she was an active board member of a pro-Morocco lobby group. Her successor, MEP Marietje Schaake, only announced her much more critical position on the resolution in the morning of the vote. 3. Whether to give its consent or not to the proposed trade extension into the occupied land: a simple yes, no or abstention.
Check how each MEP voted on each of those three agenda-items below. Note that several MEPs have changed their vote after 16 January 2019, as MEPs are allowed to correct their vote in case of an erroneous button-push within a certain time-frame. The lists below have taken those corrections into account.
And this is how each voted:
1. ON THE MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION TO REFER THE PROPOSAL TO THE EU COURT OF JUSTICE TO CHECK ITS COMPLIANCE WITH EU LAW
210 for - 414 against - 48 abstentions After corrections: 212 for - 411 against - 49 abstentions
Voted in favour of the Resolution to refer the proposal to the EU Court of Justice to verify its compliance with EU law:
- ALDE: Bearder, Bilbao Barandica, Federley, Gerbrandy, in 't Veld, van Miltenburg, Mlinar, Müller, Petersen, Punset, Rohde, Schaake, Torvalds, Tremosa i Balcells, Vajgl, Wierinck, Wikström
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.
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 peoples social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Moroccos 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.