Fisheries Agreement: MEP Stresses Need to Safeguard Strategic Partnership with Morocco
“The strategic partnership between the EU and Morocco, which started as early as 1960, should not be undermined by certain lobbying groups, willing to use the existing legal void to act against the Union’s best interests,” said Ilhan Kyuchyuk, member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee.
In an article in the European Parliament Magazine, Kyuchyuk warned of the ramifications of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) verdict on Morocco-EU fisheries agreement. The verdict is to be issued on February 27.
Kyuchyuk recalled what Europe will lose if it undermines its ties with Morocco, notably in terms of counter-terrorism, security, migration and economic concerns. In this respect, he stressed that the Sahara “should not be used to hamper the EU’s relations with Morocco, a long-standing strategic Euro-Mediterranean Partner, with an advanced European Neighborhood Policy status.”
“The Western Sahara Autonomy Proposal presented to the UN Security Council by Morocco in April 2007 is an important step towards finding a lasting solution,” he said.
The EU’s 30-year-long fisheries cooperation with Morocco has borne fruit for both sides and has especially benefited the 11 EU nations directly involved as well as local populations on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, said Kyuchyuk, who is also vice-president of the European Parliament’s Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party.
The case of the agricultural agreement illustrates the extent to which the EU needs to ensure coherence within its institutions. In November 2016, after an initial ruling declaring void the Moroccan-EU agricultural agreement, the ECJ issued a final verdict correcting its previous injustice regarding Morocco and putting the institution in line with other EU bodies in addition to asking the Polisario to pay the costs of the judicial proceedings, the foreign ministry had then said in a statement.
The court slammed the Polisario as “not concerned” by the EU-Morocco trade deals and ineligible to plea at the court.