Parliament’s Trade Committee approves EU-Morocco Agreement without consent of Sahrawis

Yesterday, the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee approved the new EU-Morocco Association Agreement that covers the occupied territory of Western Sahara without the consent of the Sahrawi people.

This decision was taken despite multiple rulings by the European Court of Justice, which state that the EU cannot sign agreements with Morocco that include the territory of the Western Sahara, which is not internationally recognised as part of Morocco.

The adoption of the agreement came shortly after revelations that the Parliament’s Rapporteur for the Agreement, French MEP Patricia Lalonde (ALDE), was forced to resign from the role due to conflict of interest.

Lalande and several other MEPs involved had previously failed to disclose their membership of the board of EuroMedA, a foundation with links to the Moroccan government.

This possible violation of the Parliament’s code of conduct has been referred to European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, for investigation.

Meanwhile, the Committee had rushed to vote on the agreement rather than postponing it until after further investigation has taken place.

GUE/NGL therefore calls for a new opinion from the European Court of Justice and insists that the European Parliament must act on the basis of international law.