Finan and Vermeren: EU violates rulings of the European Court on Western Sahara to pay the "good conduct" of Morocco

Paris (France) 29 July 2019 (SPS)- Mrs. Khadija Mohsen-Finan and Mr. Pierre Vermeren, assured in a collective article they published on July 27th on the French newspaper "Le Monde", that in order to pay the "good conduct" of Morocco, the European Union did not hesitate to violate the judgments of the European Court of Justice relating to Western Sahara.

Famous for their expertise on European politics and the Maghreb, the two authors analyzed the reasons behind this European complacency towards Morocco, stressing that the "good conduct" of the kingdom on the issues of migration and religious radicalism, pushed the EU to "show very little regard for human rights and for the very slow progress of the regime towards democracy".

It is for this same reason, according to the two writers, that the EU did not hesitate to renew its fishing agreements with Morocco, whereas the European Court of Justice had clearly decided that these agreements « could not be applied to Western Sahara, since this territory is not attached to Morocco under international law".

Despite this, "the renegotiated agreement was signed in Rabat on July 24, 2018, including a clause that seems totally inapplicable. The Saharawis, referred to in this text as "inhabitants of the territory", are indeed supposed to benefit from the sums collected by Morocco from the sale of fishery resources in the waters of the Sahara," rightly criticizes the text, since Polisario Front, the legitimate representative of the people of Western Sahara, has consistently assured that it has never been consulted by Europe on this issue.

"Thus the renegotiated agreement has continued to favour Morocco, but also the EU, allowing its vessels to access these fishing areas in return of 52 million Euros per year, or 30% more than according to the previous text. As for migration control, it was the subject of a transaction of 148 million paid to Morocco in 2018 alone," the articles reads.

Indeed, "the European Union and its Mediterranean countries no longer make liberalization or political transition a prerequisite in this region of the world. Obscured by what they perceive as risks of destabilization, they prefer to have reliable interlocutors and with grip. At this game, the Kingdom of Morocco is the most desirable partner," the two experts add.

They go even further to ensure that according to Europeans, "the change that had been imposed on Hassan II, twenty-five years ago, is no longer the priority," since Morocco "is no longer under any pressure to abandon its authoritarian governance. "

090/500/60 (SPS)