Swedish minister for trade clarifies that no states in the EU recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, and that therefore products made in the territory cannot be given trade preference under the EU-Morocco trade agreements.
The answer below was given on 4 February 2013 by the Minister for Trade, Ewa Björling in the Swedish parliament. The statement is similar to one given by the Dutch government a few months ago.
2012/13:276 Agricultural produce from Western Sahara
Hans Linde has asked me what initiatives I will undertake to make sure that Sweden clarifies that agricultural products of origin in Western Sahara are not included in the EU's trade agreement with Morocco.
The position of the government relating to Western Sahara is well known. Neither Sweden nor any other EU state has recognised Western Sahara as being part of Morocco. The government therefore do not consider that the EU trade agreements with Morocco are applicable for produce from Western Sahara. This has on numerous occasions been stated by representatives of the Swedish government in EU contexts. I personally raised the matter latest at a meeting with the EU ministries of trade at the 29 November 2012.
(Unofficial translation by Western Sahara Resource Watch.)
What is EU's position on labelling of products from occupied Western Sahara? The EU Commission has now for the third time published a response to a parliamentary question on the matter, but the latest version fails to address the question.
A clarification by the EU Commission on labelling of products from Western Sahara was published, then removed, then published again and has now been removed again from EU websites.
Two weeks ago, the EU Commission announced that products from Western Sahara should be labelled accordingly, only to withdraw that statement the very next day. Today, the Commission reaffirms its original position.
On 5 February 2020, the EU Commission announced that products from Western Sahara should be labelled accordingly. But about 24 hours later, all traces to that statement had been removed from EU websites.