Monday 21 May 2018, Brussels
On May 17th, 2018 the Trade committee of the European Parliament held a debate on the state of play of the negotiations with Morocco on the amendment of the protocols on rules of origin under the EU- Morocco Association agreement and Fisheries partnership agreement in relation to Western Sahara.
We value the firm and responsible positions expressed by the members of the Trade committee in defence of the EU and international legality and requesting the EU Commission to abide strictly to the rule of law.
We note with concern the intention outlined during the debate by the Commission representatives to extend both the FTA and FPA with Morocco in order to cover the occupied Western Sahara. It is clear that the envisaged procedures aim to circumvent the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The Commission representatives showed haughtiness and blatant disregard towards the decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In an attempt to distort the legal terminology used by the Court, the Commission officials dared to use the Moroccan illegal and unfounded terminology of “the southern provinces” when referring to the territories of Western Sahara occupied by Morocco. A terminology that is in full contradiction with the United Nations’ resolutions and shows contempt of the international status of Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory subject to a UN-led decolonization process. Moreover, by using such provocative language and adopting the Moroccan occupier’s narrative, the Commission undermines the long-standing EU diplomatic position on Western Sahara.