Friday, September 30, 2011

EU: EP will not seek a court decision on the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement

Source: European Parliament

A bid by 77 MEPs to have the new protocol to the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), for a ruling on whether it is fair to the people of Western Sahara, was halted by a plenary vote in Parliament on Thursday.

The resolution calling for the ECJ ruling was rejected in the plenary vote (221 in favour, 302 against and 30 abstentions).

The bid's backers argued that a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling would dispel legal uncertainty as to whether the inclusion of the Western Sahara in the protocol reflects the wishes of the local population and whether it takes their interests into account, as required by EU treaties and international law.

What's next?

The process of approving the controversial protocol will now continue in committee. The Fisheries Committee vote is scheduled for its November meeting (22 - 23 November). The final vote in plenary should take place in December.