Josep Borrell High Representative of the European Union, incapable of answering question presented by MEP Sandra Pereira on expulsion of Western Sahara

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PUSL.- Sandra Pereira, MEP of the Portuguese Communist Party, addressed last December a written question to the European Commission about the expulsion of Isabel Lourenço, a Portuguese citizen and human rights activist,  from El Aaiun, Western Sahara by Moroccan occupation authorities who subsequently sent her coercively to Moroccan territory.

The MEP asked:
– Has the Commission been aware of this illegal situation? Did you take any steps to find out about the conditions of the Portuguese citizen?
– In view of the repeated violations of human rights by the Kingdom of Morocco, does the Commission consider suspending the agreements it has signed with Morocco, considering the human rights clauses in them?

Almost 5 months after, on 24th of April, Josep Borrell High Representative of the European Union for Political and Foreign Affairs, answered without answering the questions put forward and hiding behind the EU jargon as did his predecessor Frederica Mogherini:

“The EU is aware of the case raised by the Honorable Member and has followed up on related developments, notably through its Delegation in Morocco.

Human rights are essential components of the EU’s foreign policy and of its dialogue with partner countries like Morocco, as notably reflected in the provisions of the EU-Morocco Association agreement (1) and in the Joint Political Declaration (2) adopted by the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco on the occasion of their latest Association Council on 27 June 2019, during which human rights issues were also discussed. EU trade policy is also conducted in the context and in line with the principles of the Union’s external action.”

According to the United Nations, which the EU fully supports, Western Sahara is a non-self governing territory, the final status of which will be determined by the outcome of the ongoing United Nations ‐led process.

High Comissioner Josep Borrel acknowledges to be aware of the expulsion of Mrs. Lourenço ,which is a Human Rights violation, but chooses to only state what is written the EU-Morocco Association agreement without addressing the question if this Agreement will be suspended do to the repeated violations of the Human Rights provisions by Morocco.

The Human Rights Provision of the EU-Morocco Association agreement seem to be a “proforma” and not to be taken in consideration or respected. The fact that the provisions are continuously disrespected should lead to an immediate suspension of the agreement and investigation of the violations committed not only against the Saharawi people but also against European citizens.

Furthermore, Mrs. Lourenço was never contacted by the EU Delegation in Morocco on this subject, although Mr. Borrell claims that the delegation has made a follow-up on the developments of this case.

(1) https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX:22000A0318(01)

(2) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/pt/press/press-releases/2019/06/27/joint-declaration-by-the-european-union-and-the-kingdom-of-moroc