The European Union reneged on its convictions and principles by agreeing to renew the fisheries agreement with Morocco after nearly six months of a bitter controversy over the burning issue.
The Moroccan Foreign Ministry announced the signing of the new agreement in the European Union capital, Brussels, despite the many protests led by European parliamentarians who refused to renew the agreement because it blatantly contradicted decisions of European justice.
The Polisario Front of Western Sahara has earlier written to the European Union and a number of parliamentarians to prevent the signing of the agreement with Morocco, by virtue of a decision of the European Court of Justice on the matter.
However, Morocco and its European allies circumvented this judicial decision, claiming that it included the previous bilateral agreement on Fisheries.
After the European countries have withdrawn their ships from the Western Sahara coast for the last six months, these ships will return to face up to the protests of the Sahrawis and many European lawmakers as well as human rights organizations, which have not ceased to firmly denounce the wanton looting of the wealth and natural resources of the Saharawi people.
Some 100 European deputies of different political persuasions filed a compromise proposal on January 9, asking the President of the European Parliament to “take the necessary measures” in order to obtain a formal opinion from the European Court of Justice on the contentious draft agreement.
The draft settlement under article 21 of the Treaty of the Union also stated that the European Union and its member States must abide by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including respect for the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples, and spoke of legal ambiguity regarding the compatibility of the proposed agreement of 21 December 2016, which states that “only measures taken by the Commission that respond to the obligation of the Court with respect to the consent of the people of Western Sahara can be conclusively demonstrated”.
Despite the strong protest of the European Parliament’s legal department, which expressed doubts about respect for the proposal to amend the agricultural agreement between the European Union and Morocco in line with the provisions of the decision of the European Court of Justice of 21 December 2016, stressing in this regard the imperious necessity of securing the prior consent of the Saharawi people as required by the court, as part of European principles.