Fisheries partnership agreement with Morocco
Since European waters are over-exploited, the EU negotiates fisheries agreements with countries all over the world to allow EU fishers to fish in their waters.
The revision of the agreement with Morocco sparked debate for two reasons. Firstly, Moroccan fish stocks are also largely depleted and the economic return of the agreement is the lowest of all EU fisheries agreements. Secondly, the agreement also covers Western Sahara, a territory occupied by Morocco. Morocco sells fishing licenses for the waters there despite the opposition of the Saharawi people.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens consider the Moroccan occupation of the Western Sahara to be illegal.
Since Morocco has never laid a legal claim to Western Saharan waters, the Greens believe they are international, not Moroccan waters. Therefore, any agreement with Morocco must not include Western Saharan waters.
We also opposed the agreement because it yields no additional value for the EU and further fishing could lead to the depletion of fish stocks in the region.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The first time the Moroccan agreement came to plenary, in 2011, the Greens succeeded in convincing a majority of MEPs in the Parliament to reject it.
Since the old agreement had already expired, vessels had to leave Moroccan and West Saharan waters within 24 hours.
We were not so lucky the second time.
Which points did the Greens lose?
After the first vote Parliament did not manage to abort negotiations altogether. The Commission re-negotiated a new agreement in 2013, claiming that it fulfilled the conditions imposed by the Parliament, including its respect of international law and human rights.
However, the waters of Western Sahara were still included and the Greens voted against. Unfortunately we were in a minority this time and the agreement was approved.
Lead MEP:Carl Haglund (ALDE)
Green MEP responsible:Raül Romeva i Rueda
Staff contact:Michael Earle (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?