EU-Morocco: Same Standards Applied to Morocco’s Exports, including from Sahara

The European Union (EU) has denied rumors that it will ban Morocco from exporting products from the southern region of the Sahara to European states.

The EU’s position on the labeling of Moroccan products has not changed, affirmed the EU’s spokesperson Peter Stano on Thursday, Feb. 6, from Brussels, Belgium.

The union will apply the same standards to all imports into the European market from all countries and territories, including Morocco’s Sahara, he said.

The Sahara “is covered by the EU-Morocco agreement in the agricultural field that entered into force in July 2019,” said Stano at his daily press briefing.

“The EU’s position on labeling is determined by the relevant Council Regulation … on the fruit and vegetable sectors, which sets out the criteria to be met for the commercialization of these products,” added the spokesperson.

“The customs authorities of the member states are competent to ensure the implementation of the regulation,” he noted.

The spokesperson stated further that the EU’s stance on the Sahara conflict has not changed either, noting that the EU “fully supports” the UN-led process.

The European official explained that the EU’s position on the issue “is determined by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, in particular resolution 2494 of October 2019″.

At a meeting on January 29 in Brussels between EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, the two sides reiterated their support for the UN-sponsored political process, aiming to reach a lasting, just, realistic, pragmatic, political and mutually acceptable solution.

“The EU-Morocco partnership is more than ever necessary…the EU and Morocco must join efforts to stimulate regional cooperation for the benefit of stability, prosperity and inclusive development and in order to respond better to regional and global challenges”, read a joint statement issued following the Borell – Bourita meeting in january.

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