The EU has fixed a map that displayed Western Sahara as part of Morocco - and has postponed further sanitary controls in the Sahrawi occupied territory.
Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the Commission on 4 August 2016 came with a clarification that could have consequences for the EU's trade with occupied Western Sahara.
Mrs. Mogherini stated that three audits which the EU Food and Veterinary Office, had planned in Morocco in 2016 had been postponed, while a fourth would not visit Western Sahara.
It is unclear to Western Sahara Resource Watch what impact this decision has on the trade itself in products from Western Sahara. The Union has strict sanitary requirements, and producers that do not possess the right approvals cannot sell their products in the EU.
In addition, Mrs. Mogherini commented that an erroneous map published on the website of the EU's food agency, "has been corrected according to the United Nations practices and standards as well as international law".
The changes came as a response to a parliamentary question on 17 May 2016.
See the map on the EU audit website from from May 2016, and corrected in August (or download).
The leading MEP on the proposal to extend EU-Morocco trade relations into occupied Western Sahara wants a legal opinion to be certain the proposed Western Sahara trade scheme meets the standards of the highest EU Court. The European Parliament is to vote this afternoon.
Members of the European Parliament request more clarity before voting on the Commission's proposed trade deal for Western Sahara. Meanwhile, 93 Western Sahara civil society groups lament the Parliament rapporteur's lack of diligence on the file.
On Monday, the European Parliament's committee for International Trade decided to delay the ratification-process of the EU-Moroccan agricultural agreement due to legal ambiguities.
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