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21.12.2016

ECJ ruling on Western Sahara

EU must end complicity in illegally occupied Western Sahara

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that Western Sahara is not a part of Moroccan territory. The effect of the ruling is that no bilateral EU-Morocco agreement can apply to this territory.

Commenting on the ruling, Vice-chair of the European Parliament intergroup on Western Sahara and Green MEP Bodil Valero said:

"We welcome today's ruling, which makes absolutely clear that Western Sahara is not a part of Moroccan territory and that no bilateral EU-Morocco agreements apply to this territory.

"This is an important victory for the Sahrawi people in their struggle for self-determination and exposes the hypocrisy and complicity on the part of the EU institutions. We expect to see immediate action from the Commission and Member States to bring this ruling into practice.

"Of particular importance is trade in agricultural products and fisheries: the Sahrawi people have the right to their territory and their natural resources, which should not be exploited by the occupying power Morocco with the support of European companies.

"This is an opportunity to reset EU-Morocco relations on a morally and legally sound footing. Morocco is and will remain an indispensable partner to the EU in its Southern neighbourhood. But this must be a wake-up call to the EU to urgently put all its weight behind finding a just solution to this protracted conflict. Any solution must respect the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi people."

See the ECJ press statement for more details.

More information:

David Weir

Web and Communication
Tel. Brussels +32-2-2841669
Fax Brussels +32-2-2307837
Tel. Strasbourg +33-3-88174012