EP ignores CJEU and approves EU-Morocco fisheries agreement that finances occupation of Western Sahara

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. Read more

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HRW alerts MEP’s on Fishery agreement EU-Morocco

hrw.org.- MEPs: Seek European Court’s Opinion on EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement’s Compatibility with International Law

Dear Members of the European Parliament,

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EU/Morocco fisheries agreement – European countries insist on respect of ECJ rulings

fr.allafrica.com.- Brussels – Sweden opposed the conclusion of the new fisheries partnership agreement between the European Union and Morocco, reiterating that the extension of the geographical scope of the agreement to the territory of Western Sahara must receive the consent of the Saharawi people in accordance with the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 27 February, while Germany, Denmark and Ireland insisted that an agreement must be in accordance with European law and international law.

When the text of the agreement on the EU’s Competitiveness Council was adopted on 29 November in Brussels, Sweden issued an explanatory declaration following the vote in which it expressed its opposition to the Council decisions on the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco.

Sweden explained that this agreement did not respect the judgments of the CJEU which stated that Western Sahara was a “separate” and “distinct” territory from the Kingdom of Morocco and that any extension of agreement to that territory requires “consent “of the people of Western Sahara. Read more

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CJEU judgement: EU-Morocco fishery agreement cannot include Western Sahara

PUSL.- The Court of Justice of the European Union  (CJEU) has confirmed in it’s latest ruling published on 19th of July that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara and therefore the EU’s fisheries agreement with Morocco cannot be applied to the territory.

“it follows from the foregoing considerations that the Partnership Agreement and the 2013 Protocol must be interpreted in accordance with the rules of international law binding on the Union and applicable in the relations between the Union and the Kingdom of Morocco. In this sense, the territory of Western Sahara, and the waters adjacent to the territory, do not fall within the respective territorial scope of this Agreement and Protocol”.

This judgement referes to the case brought by the Frente Polisario against the EU Council over the application of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement to Western Sahara in 2014 and confirms the two previous rulings of 21st December 2016 referring to the case presented by Polisario Front  and on 27th February 2018 the case of Western Sahara Campaign against the UK Government that was then referred by the UK High Court to the CJEU. Read more

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The Council votes on the Commission’s proposal for a decision amending the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco

PUSL.- On 16 July the Council adopted a decision on the extension of tariff preferences in the Association Agreement with Morocco in Western Sahara. According to the Commission, the decision is in line with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU on the liberalization agreement on agricultural and other products of 21 December 2016.
As a reminder, on 29 May 2017, the Council authorized the Commission to open negotiations with a view to providing a legal basis for granting preferences to products originating in Western Sahara following the judgment of 21 December 2016 in the case C-104/16 P 3, in which the Court of Justice of the European Union had ruled that the Association Agreement and the liberalization agreement concluded between the EU and Morocco did not apply to Western Sahara.
Two rounds of negotiations took place. The first was held on June 15 and 16, 2017, the second on July 18, 2017. The Chief Negotiators initiated the draft agreement on January 31, 2018.

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Polisario rejects the inclusion of Western Sahara in the renegotiation of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement

Brussels (Belgium), 04/16/2018 (SPS)

The Polisario Front condemned today the decision of the European Council to authorize the European Commission to renegotiate a new agreement amending EU-Morocco fisheries rules with the aim of explicitly including Western Sahara.

Polisario recalled in a statement released today that “the Court of Justice of the European Union has twice decided that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara” and therefore can not be included in international agreements.

“These negotiations can only lead to an illegal agreement against European Union law and international law,” the statement said, while reiterating that the EU Court of Justice has established that the only way to negotiate agreements on Western Sahara is through the consent of the Saharawi people expressed by its representative recognized by the United Nations, the Polisario Front.

In addition, Polisario said that the renegotiation of the agreement with Morocco undermines the EU’s contribution to the peace process and undermines the efforts of the United Nations and its special envoy. Read more

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

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. Read more

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ECJ – EU / Morocco Fisheries Agreement does not cover the territory of Western Sahara and adjacent waters

In a statement issued today by the European Court of Justice on the Judgment in Case C-266/16, it is stated that the European Court of Justice reaffirms that Western Sahara and adjacent waters are not part of the Moroccan Territory meaning that the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement is only applicable to the legitimate territory of Morocco and NOT THE TERRITORY OF WESTERN SAHARA AND ITS ADJACENT WATERS.

The EU / Morocco Fisheries Agreement is valid since it refers only to the Moroccan territory, any act of fishing that is outside this territory and is located in Western Sahara and its waters is therefore ILLEGAL.

In the statement can be read:

“In that regard, the Court notes, first of all, that the Fisheries Agreement is applicable to the “territory of Morocco”, an expression equivalent to the concept of “territory of the Kingdom of Morocco” in the Association Agreement. As the Court has previously held in its judgment of 21 December 2016, that concept itself refers to the geographical area over which the Kingdom of Morocco exercises its sovereign powers under international law, to the exclusion of any other territory, such as that of Western Sahara. In those circumstances, if the territory of Western Sahara were to be included within the scope of the Fisheries Agreement, that would be contrary to certain rules of general international law that are applicable in relations between the EU and Kingdom of Morocco, inter alia the principle of self-determination.” Read more

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Statemente by Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs on the occasion of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership

Statement by the Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht on the occasion of the EU Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco

Sweden announced to Coreper on February 14 that Sweden intends to vote NO to give the EU commission a mandate to open negotiations on a new protocol to the EU Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco.

This is because Sweden considers that the proposed mandate does not meet the requirements of international law. The position is identical to previous Swedish standing in the matter. Sweden also voted in 2012 not to give the European Commission a negotiating mandate for a new protocol. Read more

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The EU fisheries agreement with Morocco is not valid because it includes Western Sahara, according to European justice

  • The decision affirms that Europe breached its obligation to respect the right of self-determination
  • Nor does it believe that it guarantees that the exploitation of resources benefits the Sahrawi
  • 91.5% of the total catch envisaged in the agreement correspond to the waters of that area

rtve.es.- The fishing agreement between the European Union and Morocco is not valid, since it applies to Western Sahara and adjacent waters, according to the conclusions of the general counsel of the Court of Justice of the EU in charge of analyzing the preliminary ruling of a British court to a request from the Western Sahara Campaign (WSC), an organization that defends the recognition of the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people.

According to the lawyer Melchior Wathelet, when signing that agreement, “the Union breached its obligation to respect the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and its obligation not to recognize an illegal situation resulting from the violation of that right”.

“The fisheries agreement and the acts that approved and applied it are incompatible with the provisions of the Treaties that oblige the Union to ensure that its external action protects human rights and strictly respects International Law,” recalls Wathelet. Read more

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