Morocco, EU Agree on Content of Future Fisheries Agreement, Joint Statement

Morocco and the European Union agreed on the content of the future sustainable fisheries agreement and its implementation protocol, they said in a joint statement, and according to media reports, the deal will be signed in Rabat on Monday (July 23).

“The two parties agreed on the provisions and improvements made on the texts to optimize the positive impact and benefits for local populations in the concerned zones, while respecting the principles of sustainable management of sea resources and equity,” the two sides said in the joint statement.

The Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union commend the constructive spirit that prevailed during these talks, which confirms both parties’ attachment to reinforcing their partnership in two strategic sectors: agriculture and fisheries, said the statement.

The two parties pledge to take measures necessary for the enforcement of the fisheries agreement and its protocol as soon as possible while taking account of their respective procedures. They will have close contact as part of the spirit of consultation and the partnership, which unites them during the period of transition until the agreement comes into effect.

The entry into force of the new deal hinges on the ratification by the European Parliament, although the EU would like a provisional implementation pending ratification.

The renewal of the Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement is a step that strengthens Morocco’s position as the sole interlocutor to negotiate international agreements including the Sahara.

Negotiations on the renewal of the Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement have resulted in the inclusion of the Moroccan Sahara, a step that strengthens Morocco in its quality as the “sole interlocutor to negotiate international agreements including the Sahara,” said the Moroccan Foreign Ministry.

“The attempts by Morocco’s opponents to question this exclusive jurisdiction have been both disavowed and rejected,” says the Ministry, noting that this stage has turned “a new page on the path of overcoming the judicial vicissitudes and vain attacks by third parties”.

Throughout the negotiation process, Morocco has been clear and firm on its national fundamentals: the Kingdom has never concluded – and will never conclude – an international agreement that compromises its sovereignty over its southern provinces, says the Ministry.

Morocco has once again clearly demonstrated its determination to uphold its fundamentals, because “its territorial integrity is, and will remain, a red line that cannot be subject of any compromise”.

At the end of the negotiations carried out in four rounds between April 20 and July 19, the two parties agreed that the adaptation of the Fisheries Agreement will be in the form of an Exchange of Letters. The negotiated text expressly mentions that the tariff preferences applied to Moroccan products also apply, and under the same conditions, to fish products caught in the waters of the Moroccan southern provinces, the Foreign Ministry said.

In Madrid, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, expressed his country’s satisfaction at the future fisheries agreement and its protocol of application, saying the deal emphasizes the deep and stable relationship between the European Union and Morocco.

This agreement is “the fruit of a job well done,” Luis Planas said, highlighting the importance of the agreement between Morocco and the EU from the point of view of fisheries resources and activities that will be developed within its framework.

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