Flagrant försök att kringgå domstolens dom om EU:s avtal med Marocko

I slutet av december kom EU-domstolen med sin dom om de avtal EU ingått med Marocko. Det var tydligt att de inte innefattar produkter från Västsahara. Bara några veckor senare hölls en utfrågning i parlamentet där fokus låg mer på hur man skulle kunna kringgå domen än hur vi skulle garantera att den följs. Några dagar efter lämnade den första lasten fiskolja hamnen i El Aiún på väg till Frankrike. Våra gröna vänner i kommunledningen i Las Palmas utverkade en polisinspektion då båten la till i hamn på vägen norrut. Vid inspektionen framgick det tydligt att frakten beviljats av marockanska myndigheter, som alltså inte har den rätten.

När båten anländer till Frankrike den 20 januari kommer den att mötas även där av protester och mobilisering pågår för att få myndigheterna att agera även om det kan bli svårt med tanke på Frankrikes mycket starka band till Marocko.

Det är ett norskt företag, så även där bör denna fråga uppmärksammas.

Jag och några kollegor skrev ett brev till Federica Mogherini, Cecilia Malmström och Pierre Moscovici för att be henne agera. Jag bifogar brevet nedan.

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Ms. Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union

Ms. Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

Mr. Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs

16th January 2017

 Dear Commissioners Mogherini, Malmström and Moscovici,

We wish to draw to your immediate attention an urgent matter that potentially implies a serious breach of EU legislation, ECJ case-law and public international law, in relation to EU trade in goods originated in Western Sahara.

On 14 January 2016, a vessel (the “Key Bay”) reported to be carrying products from the occupied territories of Western Sahara with shipping documents and certificates of origin delivered by the Moroccan authorities, made a stopover in the Spanish port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and is currently en route to the French port of Fécamp. We are gravely concerned about this development, that could imply a direct violation of the recent ECJ judgement on the EU-Morocco Agreements of 21 December 2016 (Council v. Front POLISARIO, C-104/16).

As you will know, the ECJ judgement stated in no ambiguous terms, that the EU-Morocco Association agreement, as well as the Liberalisation agreement, do not apply to the territory of Western Sahara; that the Sahrawi people has the right to self-determination, which includes the right to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources; and the Sahrawi people must be regarded as a third party, that must give its consent in order for other parties to export from their territory. It follows that any import into the EU from occupied Western Sahara has no legal basis.

The Key Bay vessel entered Spanish and European territorial waters on the morning of the 14 January, with the intention to refuel at the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. After being alerted about the possible shipment of the vessel, the City Councillor of Las Palmas, María del Pilar Álvarez León, seized the local authorities, provided them with information about the ECJ judgement and its consequences, and requested them to take the necessary measures. Subsequently, the port authorities of Las Palmas, jointly with the “Guardia Civil”, proceeded with an investigation of the alleged facts. According to different sources, this inquiry confirmed that the Key Bay loaded fish oil in the port of Laayoune, which is in the occupied territories of Western Saharan and that the Moroccan authorities had delivered the shipping documents and certificates of origin pertaining to this shipment. After refuelling, the Key Bay was authorized to depart from Las Palmas, and is now heading to the French port of Fécamp, where it is estimated to arrive on Friday, 20 January.

In light of the above, we believe that the failure of the Spanish authorities to stop the cargo at Las Palmas, knowing that the vessel transported fish oil from Laayoune, might constitute a breach of the ECJ judgement and EU legislation. The French authorities will now have to address this issue upon arrival of the Key Bay in the coming days.

We call on the Commission, as the guardian of the European legal norm, to consider this matter with utmost urgency and to seize the relevant French and Spanish authorities with a view to taking the appropriate measures, before the vessel arrives to the French port of Fécamp on 20 January.

Yours sincerely,

José Bové

Bodil Valero

Florent Marcellesi

 

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