Mails below was sent by Gilles Pargneaux, the president of the EU-Morocco friendship committee at the European Parliament, and to his French colleague Alain Cadec, to all parliamentarians in Brussels.
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "PARGNEAUX Gilles" To: "MEP & ASSISTANTS-7th-Legislature" Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 22:08:20 +0100 Subject: Tomorrow's plenary vote - Support for the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement
Tomorrow at 11:30, we will have two important votes regarding the EU-Morocco Fisheries agreement: 1. the Haglund report on the consent on the current Protocol, and 2. the S&D/EPP/ALDE joint motion for a resolution regarding a possible new Protocol with Morocco.
Following the report of the Fisheries Committee which recommended approving the agreement, I urge you to vote YES on both resolutions tomorrow.
Much erroneous and misleading information is being circulated against this agreement. It is regrettable that the Western Sahara geopolitical dispute is exploited in an inappropriate manner to block the agreement, whereas it is duly dealt with within the United Nations.
I appeal to your critical discernment to reject those amendments which clearly exploit the issue of Western Sahara for well understood political ends, thus jeopardizing any future agreement between the EU and Morocco.
It should be made clear that the fisheries agreement with Morocco is in line with International law and in no way violates its provisions. Furthermore, the agreement is also economically profitable and ecologically responsible. It has yielded socio-economic effects beneficial both to 11 UE Member States and to Morocco. It provides around 800 jobs for European fishermen, and sustains thousands of processing and off-shore jobs in Morocco, including in Western Sahara where the European Commission confirmed that the agreement is beneficial to the local population.
A negative vote on this agreement simply mean saying No to a new fisheries agreement with Morocco. On the contrary, approving the agreement will pave the way for discussions on a future fisheries Protocol that can be more satisfactory and provide maximum benefit to all. This is why it is also important to vote YES on the S&D/EPP/ALDE joint motion for a resolution, which represents the best responsible compromise text.
Tomorrow we will vote on the motion for a resolution seeking an advisory opinion of the European Court of Justice on the EU-Morocco fisheries Agreement.
This motion for a resolution is inappropriate and dangerous and, as such, must be voted against on Thursday, September 29 at 12 o’clock. Rejecting this motion for a resolution is key to safeguard the right functioning of EU institutions, important for maintaining the outstanding relations with Morocco and crucial for the local population earning a living from the fisheries sector in the EU member states as well as in Morocco.
The Lisbon Treaty has endowed the European Parliament with new powers, including the one of referring an envisaged international agreement to the ECJ, when necessary and as appropriate. This new prerogative is as important as our responsibility – as members of the European Parliament, when it comes to implementing it. Yet, the motion for a resolution submitted to the vote on Thursday does not present the conditions and the guarantees of a responsible use of this new prerogative, namely for the following reasons:
1. The proposed referral to ECJ is not justified by a law violation, but, rather, by a mere "legal uncertainty" based on personal interpretations, which are, in fact, unfounded an so far unproved accusations.
2. The compatibility of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement with International law is established by several legal opinions of the United Nations and the European Union, including the European Parliament. There is no rationale for reopening an issue largely exhausted, if not to undermine EU’s relations with Morocco, its strategic partner. From a strictly legal perspective, economic activity conducted by Morocco in Western Sahara, including fisheries, are consistent with international law, insofar as the said activities are conducted in the interests of local population.
3. Morocco has voluntarily and bona fide provided objective and verifiable data on the regional impacts of the fisheries agreement, including in Western Sahara. These data were analyzed by the European Commission and EU Council, and were deemed credible and satisfying, allowing the renewal of the protocol of the fisheries agreement for another year (from 28 February 2011 to February 27, 2012).
4. The motion for a resolution is motivated by a temptation to experiment a new prerogative. Yet, in this specific case, this motion is not in the interest of the EU nor does it bear an interest for its member states, for inter-institutional relations, for relations with Morocco, or even for the local population it claims to be concerned for. By targeting EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, the motion would be likely to generate a negative socio-economic impact particularly on the fisheries sector and the population living of it, including the population in Western Sahara.
6. Western Sahara issue is exploited in an opportunistic manner in this motion, even though it is the subject of a negotiation process that the United Nations is working to consolidate with all parties to the conflict. The motion for a resolution contradicts the position of the EU and the Member States.
7. The motion is designed to serve a political agenda which selectively, systematically and obstinately targets the strategic relations between the EU and Morocco. It is only likely to create complications, rather than to be of any usefulness whatsoever. Moreover, it sends a highly negative political signal towards Morocco, and stands in total contradiction with the policy advocated by all EU institutions, including the European Parliament, to support Europe’s Southern Mediterranean neighbors who have opted for the consolidation of democracy and the strengthening of the rule of law; foremost among them Morocco.
The EP, which embodies the democratic legitimacy of the EU, cannot agree to a motion for a resolution which aims at obstructing an ongoing democratic debate on the fisheries agreement with Morocco. Voting ‘No’ on this motion for a resolution is an opportunity to stand for democratic debate and to favor confrontation through ideas rather than confrontation through rules of procedure.
From: CADEC Alain Sent: 13 December 2011 19:19 To: MEP 7th-Legislature Subject: Haglund Report on EU-Morrocco FPA - Vote tomorrow in plenary
Much information, sometimes contradictory or unfounded, is circulating on the extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement.
As shadow rapporteur for the EPP Group, I would like to alert you on the fact that a negative vote on the agreement would de facto cause the end of Fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco. This was clearly stated by the Commissionner on Monday evening during the debate in plenary. In the Arab Spring, at a moment in which Morocco has begun a democratisation process, it would be a very negative message from the EU to reject this agreement. Moreover, this agreement will end on February 27th 2012, therefore the Parliament should focus on the next agreement. It is for this reason that a draft common motion for resolution on the future agreement (EPP, SD, ALDE) has been tabled. I therefore invite you to vote in favour of this agreement and in favour of the draft common resolution. Should you need further information, do not hesitate to contact my office.
Best regards, Alain CADEC MEP Vice-Chair of the Committee on Fisheries
The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law.
The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.