EU-Morocco fisheries agreement: European Commission to comply with ECJ ruling

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elmoudjahid.com.- The European Commission will respect the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which concluded on 27 February that the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement is not applicable to Western Sahara, said the head of the European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini who stressed that the decisions of this Court are “binding” for the EU institutions and its member states.

The European Commission will respect the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which concluded on 27 February that the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement is not applicable to Western Sahara, said the head of the European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini who stressed that the decisions of this Court are “binding” for the EU institutions and its member states. “The Commission will respect the judgment of the CJEU, whose decisions are binding on all the EU institutions and all the Member States,” she wrote in her response to MEP Miguel Urban Crespo, who urged Commission to suspend negotiations on new trade, agriculture and fisheries agreements with Morocco.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has stated that the Commission has “taken note” of the ECJ judgment and “closely examines it in order to determine the consequences and possible measures to be taken “. Referring to the other judgment of the CJEU delivered on 21 December 2016, the head of European diplomacy acknowledged that the EU-Morocco Association Agreement “does not currently provide any legal basis for granting tariff preferences to products coming from occupied Western Sahara.

The MEP called on the EU to suspend imports from Western Sahara in accordance with the December 2016 decision of the ECJ which concluded that EU-Morocco association and liberalization agreements are not applicable to this territory, highlighting the “separate” and “distinct” status of Western Sahara from the Kingdom of Morocco. She recalled, in this context, that the Advocate General of the ECJ, Melchior Wathelet, argued, in his opinion of 10 January, that in concluding the fisheries agreement with Morocco, “the EU has violated its obligation to respect the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination “. Miguel Urban Crespo urged the Commission to engage in direct negotiations with the legitimate representative of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with the 2016 ruling of the ECJ stating that no agreement can legally apply to Western Sahara unless, Saharawi people consent. The MEP also called on the EU to review, without delay, its relations with Morocco to ensure that they comply with international law with respect to Western Sahara.