EU’s General Court quashes EU-Morocco Deal

Swarna Shukla-

Published On: September 30, 2021 at  11:43 IST

The European Union’s General Court quashed the 27- Country Bloc’s approval of Agriculture and Fishing Agreements that allow Morocco to export goods from Western Sahara.

The European Union and Morocco issued a joint statement saying that they would act to ensure continuity of Bilateral Trade.

Morocco regards Western Sahara as its own territory, but the Algeria-backed Polisario Front Movement has sought the region’s Independence since the end of Spain’s Colonial Rule in 1975.

The Movement challenged the Decision by the European Council, the body that acts on behalf of EU member countries.

The Court in its finding, determined that Polisario Front was recognized internationally as a representative of the people of Western Sahara, and that the EU did not ensure its secured content of the Saharwi people before sealing the agreements with Morocco.

The European Court of Justice ruled in February 2018 that a Fisheries Agreement between the EU and Morocco could not include the waters of Western Sahara.

The United Nations brokered a ceasefire between EU and Morocco and the Polisario in 1991 and has been calling for a mutually acceptable Political Solution to the conflict.

However, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said, “Western Sahara is not a part of Morocco so its waters too are not a part of the EU-Morocco Agreement.”

The latest ruling could raise concerns in Spain, the main beneficiary of the Fisheries Agreement.

A Humanitarian Crisis started as Morocco and Spain argued over Madrid’s decision to provide COVID-19 care to a prominent Sahrawi leader fighting for the independence of Western Sahara.

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