Ten days before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivers its verdict on the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, Willy Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), told the EU Reporter news portal that the deal is mutually beneficial and conducive to promoting human rights in Morocco.
The EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement is due for renewal in July 2018. Since 2007, the agreement allows around 120 vessels from 11 EU member states to fish off shores of Morocco in exchange for a financial contribution from the EU of €30 million per year, plus around €10 million from ship owners.
Willy Fautré pointed out that the local population in the Sahara have benefited from the Fisheries Agreement and that the deal has helped create more job opportunities in the region.
He also voiced concern in case the deal was not renewed saying that such a scenario would result in job losses with a potential to harm Morocco’s social stability.
“Tensions between Morocco and the EU will also be among the consequences that nobody wants,” he said.
The EU-Morocco fisheries deal is backed by many EU member states, notably Spain and Denmark.
Both the European Commission and the Moroccan government have expressed their willingness to renew the agreement.
Human Rights Without Frontiers is a non-governmental organization, registered since 1989 as an association without lucrative purpose in Belgium. It focuses on research, analysis and monitoring of a wide range of human rights concerns in many countries around the world.