European Council adopts Morocco-EU fisheries agreement; delivers the coup de grâce to the Polisario

All bets are off for the polisario at the European Union level. The European Council has adopted, on Thursday in Brussels, the fishing agreement with Morocco, just one day after the deal was voted by the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the EU, known by its French acronym COREPER.

 

On November 28, COREPER gave its green light to this agreement, concluded last July between Morocco and the EU. COREPER based its decision on the conclusions of a European report that assessed, on the ground, how the inhabitants of the Sahara provinces benefit from the Morocco-EU agreement.

This report, commissioned by the European Commission, actually deflated the slanderous claims circulated by the Polisario with the help of the Algerian media.

 

The report findings underline that “the fisheries agreement should be largely beneficial to the populations concerned, given its positive socio-economic effects, especially in terms of employment and investment, and given its impact on the development of the fisheries sector and the processing of fishery products”.

Without avoiding the judgment of the EU Court of Justice of December 2016, the report states that “extensive consultations were conducted in Western Sahara and in the Kingdom of Morocco, and the socio-economic and political stakeholders who participated in the consultations were clearly in favor of the conclusion of the fisheries agreement “.

 

The important step of the agreement endorsement by the Council of the EU comes just days after the vote, by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, of this new version of the Morocco-UE agricultural and fisheries agreement, which includes Western Sahara.

 

Pending the validation of the agreement in a plenary session of the European Parliament, fear and concern prevail in the ranks of the Algeria-backed separatist front.

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