On 24 April 2018, the liberation movement of Western Sahara brought action against the EU Council for concluding an aviation agreement with Morocco that includes the territory of Western Sahara.
Western Sahara Resource Watch has learned that Polisario on 24 April this year initiatied a case to halt the application of EU-Morocco aviation agreement in Western Sahara.
Find the summary of the application submitted by Polisario with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) here.
Polisario requested the annulment of the agreement, arguing that the concluding parties, Morocco and the EU, are not competent to conclude such an agreement covering Western Sahara.
The Kingdom of Morocco was the first country outside Europe to sign such Aviation Agreement with the EU. 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). This amendment was approved by the European Parliament in October 2017. The Member States concluded the deal on 22 January 2018.
On 16 May 2018, the Commission stated in the European Parliament that it is "currently examining if recent jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice has any implications for the Euro Mediterranean Aviation Agreement".
Tomorrow, the European Parliament is scheduled to vote on an amendment to the EU-Morocco Aviation Agreement - without any clarifications from the EU Commission as to how the proposal aligns with the 2018 Ruling of EU Court of Justice, invalidating the application of that very Agreement to Western Sahara.
Update: the European Parliament has postponed all votes scheduled to take place on 10 March to a later date, due to the COVID-19-crisis.
BREAKING: the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that the EU-Morocco Aviation Agreement does not apply to Western Sahara.
“I think this incident should alert people about these EU-Morocco trade negotiations on products from Western Sahara: they are not transparent at all”, says Jytte Guteland, socialist Euro-parliamentarian from Sweden.
Opposition referred to the inclusion of Western Sahara, which they say renders the deal illegal under EU law.