PUSL.- MEPs today approved the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement which includes the waters of Western Sahara. MEPs not only failed to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) but also directly violated international humanitarian law.
Refusal to bring the agreement to the European court
Before voting on the agreement, MEPs rejected by 189 votes to 410, with 36 abstentions, a petition asking the EU Court to assess their compatibility with the EU Treaty.
In an official communiqué the EU states that this vote ”
does not prejudice the outcome of the political process on the status of Western Sahara. “This statement is curious because the status is well defined and the CJEU itself has reaffirmed that Morocco has no sovereignty over the non-autonomous territory of Western Sahara.
The EU has resorted to law subterfuge, has re-enacted a clear legal text in its favor and has used MEP’St with links to Morocco, which even led to the resignation of a French MEP, all in order to be able to approve an illegal agreement.
A process involved in scandals, corruption and disrespect of international law that had the clear support of the governments of Portugal, Spain and France and the socialist and right-wing parties.
According to the EU the plenary supported the text with 415 votes in favor, 189 against and 49 abstentions. Data that needs to be checked since in the last vote on the EU – Morocco trade agreement several MEPs including two Greeks from the GKP and one Spaniard saw their votes against being transformed into abstention.
The ECJ ruling was clear, to include Western Sahara in the agreement there would have to have been given the consent of the People of Western Sahara, not the consent of the resident population which is composed mostly by Moroccan settlers.
The legitimate representative of the Saharawi people, the representative recognized by the United Nations, the African Union and Morocco itself each time it sits at the negotiating table, is the Polisario Front.
The EU has decided to re-interpret the judgment and says that:
“The treaty supported by the Parliament takes into account the results of the process of consultation of the local population made by the EU External Action Service to assess the impact of the changes on Western Sahara and the assent of the majority. It also notes that the Polisario Front did not participate in the consultation, opposing the agreement in principle. ”
It is thus clear that the EU is aware that the legitimate representative of the Saharawi people is against the agreement and therefore the agreement can not include the waters of Western Sahara.
Morocco has in the occupied territories of Western Sahara 141 companies involved in the processing of fishery products, of which approximately 90,000 jobs (almost exclusively Moroccan settlers) depend, with a turnover of approximately 450 million. Of this amount, about 60%, 240 million are exported, to the EU.
According to the EU communiqué, “the agreement aims to promote sustainable fishing of European vessels authorized to fish only the surplus of allowable catches laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”. However, Moroccan, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and other vessels do not respect sustainable fishing by depleting fish stocks and introducing the same in Europe through Morocco.
Morocco will also receive millions of euros for “sustainable and blue fishing”.
The total value of fishing opportunities set out in an annex to the Protocol to the Agreement amounts to EUR 153,6 million for four years (EUR 48,1 million for the first year, EUR 50,4 million for the second and EUR 55,1 million the last two). However the possibility is not the reality since the EU countries do not have a fishing fleet that can cover these amounts.
Further aggravating the successive violations, the EU announces that “a joint EU-Morocco commission will be set up to monitor the implementation of the agreement, which could modify the protocol.” Morocco will be the guarantor of the “benefit” of the Saharawi people? It would be the same as Hitler being responsible for the “benefits” of prisoners in concentration camps.
The treaty may be applied provisionally from the date of signature authorized by the EU Council. The agreement will remain in force for an indefinite period, but the annexed protocol, detailing the fishing possibilities, is valid for four years