After the green light from the EU, details of the steps towards a new fisheries agreement with Morocco


Federica Mogherini and Nasser Bourita

EU member states gave the go-ahead on Monday (April 16th) to launch negotiations with Morocco on a new fisheries agreement that will have to take into account a recent decision by the European justice system on the Sahara. Details.
Moroccan diplomacy can push a sigh of relief. The agreement of the Fisheries Ministers meeting at 28 in Luxembourg will allow the Commission to amend the multiannual protocol between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco, which expires on 14 July 2018.
All EU countries supported this mandate with the exception of Sweden and the United Kingdom, which abstained. As a reminder during the vote of the first term last February, before the judgment rendered by the judgment, Sweden opposed it. An evolution therefore in the position of this Nordic country. As for the UK, for reasons related to Brexit, the country can not take positions without obtaining the approval of the British Parliament, decrypts a source close to the record.
The Commission, which is negotiating on behalf of the 28 Member States, believes that it is ” possible to extend bilateral agreements with Morocco in Western Sahara under certain conditions “, according to his recommendation of negotiating mandate.
The signing of a new agreement with the EU will be done in five phases, decrypts a diplomat. The first was to develop a mandate, the second is to approve it. Morocco and its European partners are moving to the third stage, that of negotiations. They will take place in the coming days. A European delegation is expected in Morocco.
As expected, the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in late February makes ” necessary to clarify the geographical scope of the Agreement “.” The warrant is adapted to the judgment “the CJEU, assured the Spanish Minister of Fisheries, Isabel García Tejerina on arrival Monday in Luxembourg.” The mandate and the negotiations will take the execution of the judgment very seriously “, she added, hoping the negotiations could be concluded before July 14.
As announced Friday by, this favorable vote in Morocco will allow the European Commission to negotiate a new fisheries agreement with the Kingdom. This agreement will have to be submitted again to the Council, then to Parliament.
A source close to the file tells us that Morocco is currently trying to ” sensitize “MEPs with a view to the future vote on the fisheries agreement in Parliament, as well as on the future amendment on the agricultural agreement.
At the same time, the European Commission is preparing a report to be submitted to the European Council integrating consent of the people of Western Sahara “to this new agreement, in line with a previous ECJ judgment of December 2016.
Read also: Morocco-EU agreements: the hour of the hard choices
Read also: Morocco-EU: European Commission proposes to extend agricultural agreements to the Sahara


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