The aspects of international law that was of concern to the European Parliament back in 2011 have not been answered to in the new proposed fisheries agreement, state 21 jurists.
The EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement that is up for vote on 10 December "still does not address the failure to conform with international law that was one of the reasons that the European Parliament rejected the Protocol in 2011." This is stated by a group of 21 jurists from Spain, Sweden, United States, Honkong, Luxembourg, Denmark, Canada, Finland, dated 2 December 2013.
The group states that the agreement "may make the EU and its member states liable for a violation of international law, namely recognition of and assistance to serious breaches of international law by Morocco, amounting to aggression and denial of the right of self-determination, including the right to freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources."
Download the legal opinion here.
The conclusion of the document reads the following:
The conclusion is that the 2013 Protocol still does not address the failure to conform with international law that was one of the reasons that the European Parliament rejected the Protocol in 2011.
In the 2013 legal opinion to the European Parliament, the Parliament’s legal service cited its own previous opinion of 2009. The legal service here found that "compliance with international law requires that economic activities related to the natural resources of a Non-Self-Governing Territory are carried out for the benefits of the people of such Territory, and in accordance with their wishes." Further, "[i]n the event that it could not be demonstrated that the FPA was implemented in conformity with the principles of international law concerning the rights of the Saharawi people over their natural resources, principles which the Community is bound to respect, the Community should refrain from allowing vessels to fish in the waters off Western Sahara by requesting fisheries licences only for fishing zones that are situated in the waters off Morocco”. Since there are no records of this having been the case, before or after 2009, Parliament should reject this Protocol and let it be known to the Commission that it expects the Commission to negotiate a new agreement which fully respects international law.
The opinion is signed by the following:
Polisario has a case, but it should be pursued when the time is right, Court implies.
For the third time, the highest Court of the European Union has confirmed that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara. In its new ruling dated 19 July 2018, the Court confirms that the EU's fisheries agreement with Morocco cannot be applied to the territory.
In an opinion issued this morning, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU stated that the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement is invalid because it applies to Western Sahara waters. Judgement expected in a few months.
Read reaction from Frente Polisario on the opinion.