BRUSSELS – Sweden opposed the conclusion of the new Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco, reaffirming that the extension of the geographical scope of the agreement to the territory of Western Sahara must receive the consent of the Saharawi people in accordance with the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 27 February, while Germany, Denmark and Ireland have insisted that an agreement must be in conformity with European law and international law.
On the adoption of the text of this agreement at the level of the Competitiveness Council of the EU, on 29 November in Brussels, Sweden issued an explanatory declaration following the vote in which it expressed its opposition to the Council decisions on the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco.
Sweden explained that this agreement did not respect the judgments of the CJEU which stated that Western Sahara was a "separate" and "separate" territory from the Kingdom of Morocco and that any extension of agreement to this territory requires the "consent" of the people of Western Sahara
The full text of the Swedish declaration states that "Sweden will vote against Council decisions on the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco".
Recalling that when the negotiating mandate of the new agreement had been adopted in April 2018, Sweden had "clearly indicated that its support for a future agreement would depend on the agreement fully respecting international law, including the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union "
Emphasizing one of the basic statements of CJEU judgments, Sweden stated in its declaration that the extension of the geographical scope of the agreement to the territory of Western Sahara and its adjacent waters "must to receive the consent of the people of Western Sahara, "and add that" Sweden has also made it clear that we mean by 'the people concerned' in the mandate 'the people of Western Sahara', in accordance with the judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU ", while reaffirming" that it is essential that the people of Western Sahara give their consent to the agreement ", which was not the case, concludes the statement.
For their part, Germany and Denmark stated in a joint statement that "Denmark and Germany have always insisted that an agreement must be in accordance with the judgment of the Court of Justice. Justice of 27 February 2018 in Case C-266/16 ", while recalling their support for the United Nations process aimed at finding a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution for Western Sahara which provides for the right of self-determination of the Saharawi people
For its part, Ireland stressed "that it is important to respect the law of the Union, including international law" and to add that "it has always insisted that an agreement must be in accordance with the judgment of the Court of Justice of 27 February 2018 in Case C-266/16 ".
It should be noted that the Council Decision adopted on 29 November 2018 states that "nothing in the terms of the fisheries agreement or its implementation protocol implies that it would recognize sovereignty or rights sovereigns of the Kingdom of Morocco over Western Sahara and adjacent waters. "