EU-Morocco: MEPs regret decision of the European Court of Justice & confirm support for the EU-Morocco partnership

The Court of Justice of the European Union has decided to annul the European Council’s decisions on the tariff preferences for products of Moroccan origin as well as the Sustainable Fisheries Agreement.

European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi stated that the partnership with Morocco is among the strongest of the EU in the Southern neighbourhood. It is important to preserve, consolidate and develop it with trust and mutual respect.

In tweets, some MEPs stressed that the agricultural and fisheries agreements between Morocco and the EU have directly benefited the populations of the Moroccan Sahara, insisting that the Polisario has no legitimacy to challenge these agreements.

Bulgarian MEP Petar Vitanov indicated that Morocco is “the most stable and reliable country in the region, especially in terms of security, migration and trade”, insisting that “we must provide it with all our support”.

“I am convinced that the EU and Morocco will remain united to defend their partnership and their agreements against external actors,” he said.

Same story for Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovatchev, who affirmed that the EU and Morocco are key partners in many important areas such as economy, trade, security, energy transition, regional stability and should further strengthen their cooperation.

He also recalled that the reports of the European Commission confirm the benefits of agricultural and fishing agreements for the population of the Moroccan Sahara.

Hungarian MEP László Trócsányi also expressed “strong” support for “strategic” relations between Morocco and the EU.

The Polish MEP Anna Fotyga insisted that the court ruling of EU Court of Justice cannot impact strategic relations, bringing uncertainty to businesses and harming the local population.

“The Polisario is a destabilizing element in the region. It has neither the legitimacy nor the representative quality to attack the EU-Morocco agreements” she added.

Bulgarian MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk reiterated that “Morocco is a strong neighbor of Europe and a source of stability and security”, stressing that the EU and Morocco must remain united and continue their strategic and economic partnership.

Belgian MEP Frédérique Ries found the court’s decision “disappointing” and “in contrast to the efforts made on the ground”, noting that “we must take into account the political realities of the Sahara issue and avoid the traps of the Polisario ”.

"We must reassure our Moroccan partner as much as the European fishermen active in these waters: the time has come to deepen our relations, and not the other way around," added Ms. Ries.

Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský, for his part, stressed that “Morocco is a key partner of the EU in the neighborhood and the most stable country in the region”, saying that he is convinced that Rabat and Brussels “will remain united to defend their partnership and their agreements against external actors”.

The tribunal annuls these decisions “while maintaining their effects for a certain period in order to preserve the external action of the European Union and the legal certainty of its international commitments”, we read in the press release of the tribunal giving an account of this. decision.

It is only a first instance decision. It will be appealed. Moreover, in 2015, the decision of this same court had been overturned, on appeal.

The European and Moroccan authorities remain mobilized together for the appeal phase.

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