The new agreement, which includes the Moroccan Sahara contrary to the plots hatched by the enemies of Morocco’s territorial integrity, replaces the one that expired on July 14 forcing the European fleet to withdraw from the North African country’s waters.
The legality of the agreement, key to the EU-Morocco partnership, had been challenged at the European Court of Justice by a UK lobbying group supporting Polisario separatists with Algerian petrodollars. However, all judiciary attempts and schemes to block the deal failed.
Both Morocco and EU hailed the new accord, which insists on sustainable fisheries and confirms the strategic partnership existing between the two sides.
The entry into force of the new deal hinges on the ratification by the European Parliament, although the EU would like a provisional implementation pending ratification.
The new agreement will enable about 120 vessels from 11 EU countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, The Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and United Kingdom) to resume their activities in Morocco’s waters.
According to experts, both the EU and Morocco benefit from the fisheries agreement. Furthermore, over 75 pc of the socio-economic benefits of the agreement, such as creation of hundreds of new jobs and improvement of working conditions of tens of thousands of people, are enjoyed by people living in Morocco’s Southern provinces.
The deal promotes sustainable development of the fisheries sector and helps to create jobs for Moroccan sailors and fishermen via 1000 boarding contracts per year
The EU and Morocco successively concluded an association agreement in 1996, a partnership agreement in the fisheries sector (the Fisheries Agreement) in 2006 and a liberalization agreement with respect to agricultural and fisheries products in 2012.
The two sides are committed to strengthening further their strategic partnership, political dialogue and trade relations. The EU has extensive ties with Morocco in trade, political and security matters. Morocco plays a key role in the fight against terrorism and has helped France, Spain, Belgium, Italy and other countries in the fight against terror cells and extremist groups threatening European security.