European justice dictates that the fisheries pact with Morocco does not apply to Western Sahara

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Turkey Telegraph | 27 February 2018

European justice dictates that the fisheries pact with Morocco does not apply to Western Sahara

European justice supports EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, but warns that it does not apply to Western Sahara because that territory is "not part of Kingdom of Morocco." A ruling by EU Court of Justice on Tuesday assures validity of this framework, whereby European vessels can fish in Moroccan waters, although it obliges m to ensure that se activities do not occur in waters adjacent to Sahara Western, whose autonomy claims Frente Polisario and UN recognizes as right.

More information

  • The EU-Morocco fisheries pact, in suspense for discrimination of Sahara
  • European justice validates EU-Morocco trade pact
  • The EU and Morocco sign fisheries agreement, which grants 80% of licenses to Spain

The decision Appeases, in short term, fear that fisheries agreement linking Brussels and Rabat from 2007 is cancelled by court ruling. More than a hundred European boats (most of m Spanish) fish in Moroccan waters in exchange for an annual quota of about 36 million euros. In long term, a decision contrary to this framework would have complicated link between Europe and Morocco, key in management of migration flows and fight against terrorism.

The court’s ruling moves away from this scenario of diplomatic conflict, but it provides a political victory for Sahrawis by stating that "neir fisheries Agreement nor accompanying Protocol are applicable to waters adjacent to territory of Western Sahara" Because expression Moroccan fishing zone "does not include" that area with right to self-determination. The court does not entirely resolve issue because case should go back to Supreme Court of United Kingdom, which raised issue to European justice for it to decide. But British body will have to dictate final judgement by applying interpretation offered by Community court.

The Luxembourg-based tribunal’s decision is almost same scenario as in 2015, when EU general Court overturned agricultural agreement with Morocco for very similar reasons: it allowed Morocco to sell to Community countries products From Western Sahara as if y were ir own. The EU Council appealed verdict and last judicial instance ended up endorsing agreement, but with an important victory for Frente Polisario, which had brought trade agreement to justice. Because institution of Luxembourg considered, as now, that expression territory Kingdom of Morocco did not include Western Sahara and that, refore, trade pact was valid, but not applicable to that territory occupied mostly by Morocco.