European court of justice annuls EU trade and fishing agreements with Morocco

The European Court of Justice has annulled the EU’s trade and fishing agreements with Morocco.

In a new blow to the political and economic relations between the European Union and Morocco,  the General Court of the European Union has ruled today, Wednesday, September 29, that the trade agreements signed between the European Union and Morocco, which include products from the Western Sahara region, a territory that is not under the control of the Alawite kingdom, are not legal.

The ruling agrees with the Polisario Front, although its effects will remain frozen for the time being, “for a certain period of time”, due to the “serious consequences” that an annulment could have on foreign activities of the European Union.

The ruling means that the agreements between Brussels and Rabat will remain in force for the time being because “their annulment with immediate effect could have serious consequences on the external action of the Union and also calls into question the legal certainty of the international commitments undertaken by the Union, pointed out the judges in their judgment.

The current pacts will continue to apply until the court rules on a possible appeal to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), which can be filed within a maximum period of two months and ten days of the judgment.

The case was brought about due to the three annulment appeals filed by the Polisario Front against two EU Council decisions in January and March 2019 on the association agreements between the EU and Morocco, and European regulations of the end of 2018 that regulates the distribution of fishing rights in the Moroccan sea and includes the exploitation of resources in the waters of Western Sahara, where 128 European vessels operate, of which 92 are Spanish.

In exchange for access to these waters, the EU pays Morocco an annual average of 52 million euros each year, of which approximately 12 million must be paid by European shipowners.

 


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.

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