EU Parliament approves Morocco aviation deal including Western Sahara
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Opposition referred to the inclusion of Western Sahara, which they say renders the deal illegal under EU law.
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The European Parliament today backed the Aviation Agreement with Morocco, in spite of the EU Commission's confirmation prior to the vote that the deal indeed covers the territory of occupied Western Sahara. The Commission declared that the deal mirrors the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement in its territorial application.

It is precisely the Fisheries Agreement's territorial application which has landed it on the agenda of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Court is to expected to assess deal's compatibility with EU law over the inclusion of Western Sahara's waters in the coming months.

"The arguments put forward by the Commission are unconvincing since the Aviation Agreement applies to the territory of and the airspace above Western Sahara, and not to the maritime waters of the latter. Dakhla and Laayoune airports are located on this territory", MEP Keith Taylor stated on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group. Read the full statement of the Greens/EFA Group, explaining their vote against the deal, here.

In December 2016, the Court ruled that Western Sahara is a territory that is "distinct and separate" from Morocco, and that as such no EU trade or association deal with Morocco can be applied to the territory, unless with the explicit consent of the people of the territory.  

Check how each MEP voted here (pp.6-7) or check the list below. Those rejecting the Aviation Agreement referred to that particular Court ruling.

"The Aviation Agreement fails to comply with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of 21 December 2016 POLISARIO vs Council, which required the EU to consider Western Sahara and Morocco as two distinct and separate territories. Moreover, the Commission did not demonstrate that it had secured the consent of the people of Western Sahara to this Agreement, as also required by the CJEU", Taylor stated. "We call on the Council to take urgent corrective action to conform with European law and to respect the territorial integrity of Western Sahara."

Morocco was the first country outside Europe to sign the Aviation Agreement. The aviation deal with Morocco has been provisionally in force since December 2006. In February 2014, the EU Commission proposed an amended version of the deal, accounting for changes within the EU (three new Member States since 2006, and the Lisbon Treaty). It is this amended version which has now been approved by Parliament.


MEPS who voted in favour of the EU Morocco Aviation Agreement

ALDE:
Ali, Arthuis, Auštrevičius,  van  Baalen,  Bearder,  Calvet  Chambon,  Cavada,  Charanzová,  Cornillet,  Deprez,  Diaconu, Dlabajová,  Federley,  Gerbrandy,  Goerens,  Griesbeck,  Grigule-Pēterse, Harkin,  Huitema,  Hyusmenova,  in  't  Veld, Jäätteenmäki, Jakovčić, Ježek, Kallas, Kyuchyuk, Lalonde, Lřkkegaard, Marinho e Pinto, Mazuronis, Meissner, Michel, Mihaylova, van Miltenburg, Mlinar, Müller, Nicolai, Paet, Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Petersen, Radoš, Ries, Riquet, Rochefort, Selimovic, Takkula, Telička, Torvalds, Vautmans, Väyrynen, Verhofstadt, Weber Renate, Wierinck, Wikström

ECR:
Ashworth, Barekov, Bashir, Belder, Campbell Bannerman, Czarnecki, Czesak, van Dalen, Dalton, Demesmaeker, Deva, Dohrmann, Dzhambazki, Fitto, Flack, Foster, Fotyga, Fox, Gericke, Girling, Gosiewska, Halla-aho, Henkel, Hoc, Jurek, Kamall,  Karski,  Kłosowski,  Kölmel,  Krasnodębski,  Krupa,  Kuźmiuk,  Legutko,  Loones,  Lucke,  McClarkin,  McIntyre,
Macovei, Matthews, Messerschmidt, Mobarik, Nicholson, Ożóg, Piecha, Piotrowski, Poręba, Procter, Ruohonen-Lerner, Sernagiotto, Škripek, Starbatty, Stevens, Sulík, Swinburne, Tannock, Tomaševski, Tomašić, Trebesius, Ujazdowski, Van Bossuyt, Van Orden, Vistisen, Wiśniewska, Zīle, Žitňanská, Złotowski

EFDD:
Bergeron, Iwaszkiewicz, Lundgren, Moi, Paksas, Pedicini, Winberg

ENF:
Annemans, Bizzotto, Borghezio, Fontana, Kappel, Marusik, Mayer Georg, Obermayr, Rebega, Vilimsky, Zanni

GUE/NGL:
Kohlíček, Konečná, Maštálka

NI:
Balczó, Chauprade, Dodds, Gollnisch, James, Korwin-Mikke, Saryusz-Wolski, Sonneborn, Voigt

PPE:
Adaktusson, Ademov, Alliot-Marie, Arimont, Ayuso, Bach, Balz, Becker, Belet, Bendtsen, Bocskor, Böge, Boni, Brok, Buda, Buşoi, Buzek, Cadec, van de Camp, Casa, Caspary, del Castillo Vera, Christoforou, Cicu, Cirio, Clune, Collin-Langen, Comi, Csáky, Danjean, Dantin, Dati, Delahaye, Deli, Deutsch, Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Dorfmann, Ehler, Engel, Erdős, Faria, Ferber, Fernandes, Fjellner, Gahler, Gál, Gambús, Gardini, Gieseke, González Pons, de Grandes Pascual, Gräßle, Grossetęte, Grzyb, Gyürk, Hayes, Herranz García, Hetman, Hohlmeier, Hökmark, Hölvényi, Hortefeux, Iturgaiz, Jahr, Járóka, Jazłowiecka, Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Joulaud, Juvin, Kalinowski, Karas, Kariņš, Kefalogiannis, Kelam, Kelly, Koch, Kósa, Köstinger, Kovatchev, Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Kudrycka, Kuhn, Kyrtsos, Lamassoure, de Lange, Langen, Lavrilleux, Lenaers, Lewandowski, Lins, Lope Fontagné, López-Istúriz White, Łukacijewska, McAllister, McGuinness, Maletić, Malinov, Mann, Marinescu, Martusciello, Matera, Mato, Maullu, Melo, Metsola, Mikolášik, Millán Mon, Monteiro de Aguiar, Morano, Morin-Chartier, Mureşan, Muselier, Mussolini, Nagy, Niebler, Niedermayer, van Nistelrooij, Novakov, Olbrycht, Pabriks, Patriciello, Petir, Pieper, Pitera, Plura, Pogliese, Polčák, Pospíšil, Preda, Proust, Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Radev, Radtke, Rangel, Reding, Ribeiro, Rolin, Rosati, Ruas, Rübig, Saďfi, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Salini, Sander, Saudargas,  Schmidt,  Schöpflin,  Schreijer-Pierik,  Schulze,  Schwab,  Siekierski,  Sógor,  Šojdrová,  Sommer,  Spyraki, Štefanec, Štětina, Stolojan, Šuica, Šulin, Svoboda, Szájer, Szejnfeld, Thun und Hohenstein, Tőkés, Tolić, Tomc, Ţurcanu, Ungureanu, Urutchev, Valcárcel Siso, Vălean, Vandenkendelaere, Verheyen, Voss, Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Wałęsa, Weber Manfred,  Wenta,  Wieland,  Winkler  Hermann,  Winkler  Iuliu,  Záborská,  Zagorakis,  Zammit  Dimech,  Zdechovský, Zdrojewski, Zeller, Zovko, Zver, Zwiefka

S&D:
Aguilera García, Anderson Lucy, Andrieu, Arena, Assis, Ayala Sender, Balas, Balčytis, Bayet, Benifei, Beňová, Berčs, Bettini, Blanco López, Blinkevičiūtė, Bonafč, Borzan, Boştinaru, Brannen, Bresso, Briano, Bullmann, Cabezón Ruiz, Caputo, Childers, Chinnici, Christensen, Corbett, Cozzolino, Cristea, Dalli, Dance, Dăncilă, Danti, De Castro, Delvaux, De Monte, Denanot, Ertug, Fajon, Fernández, Fleckenstein, Freund, Frunzulică, García Pérez, Gasbarra, Gebhardt, Geier,  Gentile,  Geringer  de  Oedenberg,  Gierek,  Gill  Neena,  Giuffrida,  Gomes,  Grapini,  Graswander-Hainz,  Griffin, ualtieri,  Guerrero  Salom,  Guillaume,  Gutiérrez  Prieto,  Honeyball,  Howarth,  Ivan,  Jaakonsaari,  Jáuregui  Atondo, Jongerius,  Kadenbach,  Kaili,  Kammerevert,  Kaufmann,  Keller  Jan,  Khan,  Kirton-Darling,  Kofod,  Kohn,  Köster, Kouroumbashev, Krehl, Kumpula-Natri, Kyenge, Kyrkos, Lange, Lauristin, Leinen, Lietz, López, López Aguilar, Łybacka, McAvan, Mamikins, Maňka, Martin David, Martin Edouard, Maurel, Mavrides, Mayer Alex, Melior, Moisă, Molnár, Moody, Moraes, Morgano, Nekov, Nica, Niedermüller, Palmer, Panzeri, Paolucci, Papadakis Demetris, Pargneaux, Paşcu, Pavel, Picierno, Picula, Piri, Pirinski, Pittella, Poc, Poche, Popa, Preuß, Regner, Revault d'Allonnes Bonnefoy, Rodrigues Liliana, Rodrigues Maria Joăo, Rodríguez-Pińero Fernández, Rodust, Rozičre, Sant, dos Santos, Sârbu, Sassoli, Schaldemose, Schlein, Schuster, Sehnalová, Serrăo Santos, Silva Pereira, Simon Peter, Simon Siôn, Sippel, Smolková, Stanishev, Steinruck,  Stihler,  Szanyi,  Tănăsescu,  Tang,  Țapardel,  Tarabella,  Thomas,  Toia,  Ujhelyi,  Valenciano,  Van  Brempt, Vaughan, Viotti, Ward, Weidenholzer, von Weizsäcker, Werner, Wölken, Zanonato, Zemke, Zoffoli, Zorrinho

Verts/ALE:
Harms, Škrlec, Šoltes


MEPS who voted against the EU Morocco Aviation Agreement

ALDE:
Giménez Barbat, Vajgl

ECR:
Marias

EFDD:
Adinolfi, Agea, Aiuto, Beghin, Borrelli, Castaldo, Corrao, D'Amato, D'Ornano, Evi, Ferrara, Montel, Valli

ENF:
Elissen, de Graaff, Stuger, Zijlstra

GUE/NGL:
Benito Ziluaga, Björk, Carthy, Chountis, Chrysogonos, Couso Permuy, Eck, Ernst, Ferreira, Flanagan, González Peńas, Hadjigeorgiou, Hazekamp, de Jong, Kari, Kouloglou, Kuneva, Kyllönen, Le Hyaric, López Bermejo, Lösing, Michels, Mineur,  Ní  Riada,  Papadimoulis,  Pimenta Lopes,  Sakorafa,  Sánchez  Caldentey,  Scholz,  Senra  Rodríguez,  Spinelli, Sylikiotis, Torres Martínez, Urbán Crespo, Vallina, Vergiat, Viegas, Vieu

NI:
Epitideios, Fountoulis, Papadakis Konstantinos, Synadinos, Woolfe, Zarianopoulos

PPE:
Kalniete

S&D:
Post

Verts/ALE:
Affronte, Albrecht, Andersson, Auken,  Bové,  Buchner,  Cramer,  Dalunde,  Delli,  Durand,  Eickhout,  Engström,  Evans, Giegold, Häusling, Hautala, Heubuch, Hudghton, Jadot, Jávor, Joly, Keller Ska, Lambert, Lamberts, Lochbihler, Lunacek, Marcellesi, Reda, Reimon, Reintke, Rivasi, Ropė, Sargentini, Scott Cato, Smith, Solé, Staes, Tarand, Taylor, Terricabras, Trüpel, Turmes, Urtasun, Valero, Vana, Ždanoka

MEPS who abstained on the EU Morocco Aviation Agreement

ALDE:
Bilbao Barandica, Tremosa i Balcells

EFDD:
Agnew, Aker, Arnott, Batten, Bullock, Carver, Coburn, Collins, Etheridge, Finch, Gill Nathan, Hookem, O'Flynn, Parker,
Payne

ENF:
Arnautu, Bay, Bilde, Briois, Ferrand, Goddyn, Jalkh, Jamet, Lebreton, Lechevalier, Loiseau, Martin Dominique, Mélin,
Monot, Schaffhauser, Troszczynski

S&D:
Guteland, Hedh, Ludvigsson, Neuser, Nilsson, Noichl, Ulvskog




    
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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

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At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
The Western Sahara oil curse

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Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.

WSRW.org News Archive 2017
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