Letter from K. Scheele on behalf of the Intergroup on Western Sahara of the European Parliament to Commissioner Joseph Borg, DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, European Commission.
Mag. Karin Scheele
Commissioner Joseph Borg
DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs
Brussels, 6 July 2004
It has come to our knowledge that the European Union is going to conclude a fishing agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco in the near future.
For this reason, I would like to address you on behalf of the Intergroup on Western Sahara, which is a cross-party group and works for defending peace and justice for the people of Western Sahara.
I would like to draw your attention to the political and legal implications that the European involvement may have, given the fact that the other party to the agreement will be the Kingdom of Morocco, a country that continues to occupy illegally large parts of Western Sahara. Western Sahara is still a Non-Self-Governing Territory waiting to be decolonised.
Morocco has always sought to legitimise its illegal occupation of Western Sahara by encouraging and implicating international and multinational corporations in the exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the Territory against the will of its owners, the Saharawi People.
In order to avoid any ambiguity and to ensure full compliance with international legality and UN relevant resolutions regarding Western Sahara, I would like to call upon the European Union to ensure that the scope of its agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco be exclusively limited to the internationally recognised borders of this country and should in no way involve the territorial waters of Western Sahara.
With best regards,
Member of the European Parliamen
President of the Intergroup on Western Sahara
The former Legal Counsel to the UN Security Counsel, Mr. Hans Corell, comments on the EU's fisheries activities in Western Sahara.
Polisario has a case, but it should be pursued when the time is right, Court implies.
Notwithstanding four consecutive rulings of the EU's highest Court calling such a practice illegal, the European Parliament has just now voted in favour of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement that will be applied to the waters of occupied Western Sahara.