April 21, 2021

Eurocmara gives green light to fishing agreement with Morocco – The Province

Eurocmara gives green light to fishing agreement with Morocco - The Province

The fullEuropean Parliamenthas given this 'green light' on Tuesday to the renewal of the agreementfishingbetweenEuropean Unionand Morocco, which grants more than ninety licenses to Spanish ships, and has ruled out the possibility of asking the Court of Justice of the EU (TUE) for its legality to include waters adjacent to theOccidental Sahara, in which 90% of the catches are made.

In particular, the new agreement between the EU andMoroccoto renew its fishing protocol it has received the support of 415 MEPs, while 189 have voted against and 49 have abstained.

The European fleet was forced to leave the Moroccan and Saharawi waters on July 14, the date on which the previous agreement was extinguished. Brussels and Rabat agreed almost a week after a new treaty, under which the EU will pay Morocco an annual average of 52 million euros for four years, of which some 12 million must be paid by European shipowners.

In return, the African country will allow 128 European ships, including 92 Spaniards, to fish in its waters. In particular, 22 Spanish purse seiners of pelagic artisanal fishing in the north, 25 long-line artisanal long-liners in the north, 10 artisanal fishing vessels in the south, 12 demersal fishing vessels and 23 pole-and-line trawlers will be able to fish in Moroccan waters. of tuna.

In addition, the European industrial pelagic fleet will increase its fishing opportunities from 85,000 tonnes in the first year of application of the agreement to 90,000 in the second year and 100,000 in the third and fourth.

Before the vote to renew the agreement, the plenary session of the European Parliament has rejected a resolution that advocated asking the European Justice for the compatibility of the fishing protocol with the EU Treaties precisely because it includes waters adjacent to Western Sahara.

MEPs opposed to this possibility have imposed themselves with 410 votes against, against the 189 registered votes in favor and 36 abstentions. In this way, the European Parliament has once again ruled out the possibility of consulting the TEU, as was the case when it approved the amendment of the commercial agreement between both parties to include Western Sahara in its application.

The origin of this conflict is the ruling of the TEU that ruled that it could not be applied in its territory for being pending decolonization. The European Commission, however, interprets that its application can be extended to the Sahara if it is included in the text of the agreement, if the consent of the affected populations is obtained and if it benefits the local population.

The European External Action Service (SEAE) and the Community Executive carried out a consultation process with the local populations of Western Sahara. According to the resolution of the European Parliament, most of the interlocutors spoke in favor of a new agreement. However, the Polisario Front, considered "representative of the people of Western Sahara by the United Nations" refused to participate in the consultation.


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