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The EU fisheries agreement with Morocco is in violation of international law, and must be stopped.

Press release from MEP Åsa Westlund (S&D),
and Jens Orback, Secretary-General of Olof Palme International Center.

The Swedish Social Democratic party has since the beginning claimed that the EU fisheries agreement with Morocco violates international law, and now the European Parliament’s Legal Service has confirmed it clearly.

”The European Parliament can stop this agreement, and we will do what we can to make this happen. The EU is bound to follow international law, and therefore it must cancel the fisheries agreement”, Åsa Westlund, Member of the European Parliament, said.

”The previous Swedish government voted as the only EU state against the fisheries agreement in 2006, with reference to international law. Now it is clear that we were right. It would be a catastrophe if the new Swedish government change the Swedish position”, said Jens Orback, Secretary General of Olof Palme International Center.

13 July 2009, a statement was issued by the European Parliament’s Legal Service that questioned whether the agreement is in accordance with international law.

It is clear that EU vessels fish in the Economic Zone belonging to Western Sahara. International law is clear that income accrued from economic activities exploited on occupied land must be of benefit to the people of that territory. This is a precondition for the agreement to be in line with international law. Another criterion for exploitation of natural resources to be legal according to international law is that it takes place in accordance with the wishes of the Saharawis.

“We are critical to the fact that the Legal Service did not also investigate whether the fisheries is in line with the wishes of the Saharawis. We see this as a clear reason as to why the agreement is not in line with international law”, said Åsa Westlund.

For more information, contact:
Åsa Westlund: (+46) 70-569 01 44
Kristoffer Strömgren, political advisor at the European Parliament: +32 478 -94 28 32
Laila Naraghi, press secretarty, Olof Palme International Center : +46 70-66 00 515


Published: 2010-02-24

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