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Regarding Morocco-EU Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperation, the Advocate General of European Court of Justice Condemns Polisario and Requests the Agreement Maintained

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PERSISMA, Rabat – Advocate General of the European Court, Tamara Ćapeta, delivered her conclusion this Thursday, March 21, 2024, that she condemned the actions of the Polisario group which disrupted Morocco’s agricultural and fisheries cooperation agreement with the European Union. Tamara also requested that the agreement between the Moroccan Government and the European Union be maintained by carrying out several revisions of the agreement.

“The Polisario has no citizenship rights in Morocco or the Sahara, and the autonomy program carried out by the Kingdom of Morocco in the Sahara region is the main and best.” This is, among other things, Tamara Capeta’s statement in the appeal file initiated by the Council of the European Union and the European Commission against the decision of the Court of First Instance which annulled the Moroccan – European Union agricultural and fisheries agreement on the pretext that the agreement also concerns the Sahara.

The Advocate General’s conclusion is an analysis submitted to the Court, for consideration by the appellate judges who are adjudicating the decision on the Polisario lawsuit regarding the Morocco – European Union agreement in question. Furthermore, the final decision will be delivered by the court in the second half of 2024.

However, these conclusions provide much enlightenment for the public which is very disturbing for the Polisario group and the organizations that support it. So, the arguments in Tamara Capeta’s appeal are enough to anger the Polisario and the people who stand behind it.

The first is that the Advocate General of the European Court recommended annulling the decision of the Court of First Instance and maintaining the validity of the agricultural agreement between Morocco and the EU. Therefore, the legality and validity of the Agricultural Agreement is ensured. must be maintained according to its current provisions. The Advocate or General Counsel emphasized that its application is to products from the Moroccan Sahara.

With regard to the Fisheries Agreement, the conclusions of the General Counsel are in line with Morocco’s desire to review the foundations of the partnership in this area, to make it a qualitative partnership of a new generation. It seems that the common goal of Morocco and the EU is to move towards a modern mutually beneficial contractual framework, related to socio-economic development, sustainable development and conservation of fisheries resources.

Furthermore, Polisario’s claim regarding so-called ‘representativeness’ was denied by the Attorney General. The latter concludes that “the Polisario is not recognized as a ‘representative’ of the people of Western Sahara by the UN or the European Union” (para. 81). He noted that the Polisario was ‘never elected’ by the people, and ‘it is impossible to determine with certainty whether the Polisario enjoyed majority support’ (para. 83). He also emphasized that the Polisario was ‘never granted the status of a national liberation movement by the UN or the European Union and its member states’ (p. 20). He concluded that the ‘Polisario’ claim that it would be the ‘sole representative’ of the Sahara was not in line with the EU position.

Furthermore, the General Counsel emphasized that the European Union has the right to conclude an Agreement with Morocco covering its southern provinces. Referring to international law, he reiterated that Morocco is the only authority competent to conclude an agreement with the EU covering the southern provinces. Therefore, the ‘Polisario’ does not have the quality or capacity to complete the agreement.

Finally, the Advocate General rejected the pro-Polisario association’s request to ban the import of agricultural products from the southern provinces. This conclusion paves the way for continued trade in agricultural products. Thus, the Advocate General’s Conclusion contrasts with the amalgamation (the union of Polisario with Sahara – ed) maintained by Polisario and its sponsors, which seeks to cover up their successive failures at various levels.

The Attorney General’s conclusions also underscore the superiority of the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative. In this regard he underlined that “since 2018, support for the Autonomy Plan proposed by the Kingdom of Morocco in 2007 seems to be increasing. Likewise, the term used in Security Council resolutions appears to have evolved.

It should be remembered that procedures before the Court of Justice of the European Union remain European in nature. Morocco is not a party to this procedure; it primarily concerns the EU Council. The Council is supported by the European Commission and several member states, which maintain the agreement with Morocco. (PERSISMA/Ed)

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