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The European Union Approach Towards Western Sahara

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Edited By Marco Balboni and Giuliana Laschi

In the framework of the so-called Barcelona process, the European Union concluded several bilateral agreements with Morocco aimed to deepen their economic integration. The 2000 Association agreement European Union–Morocco is the general legal framework for the development of relationships among the two parties. In this context, the recent Agreement on reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products, entered in force in 2012, and the Fisheries Partnership Agreement, issued in 2013, were established. They reiterate and update former agreements. No one of them expressly excludes the territory of Western Sahara from the scope of application, in contrast with other similar agreements negotiated with other countries, such as the Free trade pact between Morocco and the United States of America. The non-exclusion of the territory of Western Sahara raises several concerns on the compliance of these agreements with International Law, not only in relation to the principle of self-determination of peoples but also with the principle of sovereignty of natural resources, the prohibition of exploitation of resources of a territory under occupation, the obligation to not recognise situations arisen in an illegal way, the prohibition to negotiate agreement with an occupying country once the process of decolonisation has begun.

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The 2013 Fisheries Protocol between the EU and Morocco: Fishing ‘too South’ Continues… (Enrico Milano)

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The 2013 Fisheries Protocol between the EU and Morocco

Fishing ‘too South’ Continues…

Enrico MILANO

Associate Professor of International Law, University of Verona1

Background

On 10 December 2013 the European Parliament approved the Protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco2 (hereinafter “the Protocol”) with 310 votes in favour, 204 against and 49 abstentions. The Protocol establishes the fishing opportunities and the economic counterpart already envisaged in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (hereinafter “FPA”) concluded between the EC and the Kingdom of Morocco in 20063. The Protocol has entered into force in February 2014, upon ratification by the Parliament in Rabat. It extends for four more years the FPA, entered into force in February 2007 and provisionally extended from February to December 2011 on the basis of a protocol that was later rejected by the European Parliament. The current Protocol grants to EU fishing vessels access to Moroccan fishing areas, with a view to contributing to the development of the Moroccan fishing industry; the EU contributes 30 million Euros net per year (for a period of 4 years), plus 10 million Euros per year for fishing licenses to be released by Moroccan authorities. ← 151 | 152 →

As anticipated, a first protocol extending the FPA had been rejected by the Parliament in...

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