WSRW denounces the illegal financing of the EU to the fishing projects of Morocco in occupied Western Sahara

London, Jan 05, 2018 (SPS) - The Observatory of Western Sahara Resources Watch (WSRW) has denounced the illegal financing of the European Union to the fishing projects of Morocco in occupied Western Sahara.

WSRW affirmed that in 2017, Morocco devoted most of the financial support of the European Union (EU) to fisheries for the illegal development of this industry in occupied Western Sahara, with the "explicit approval" of the European Union.

In the framework of the fisheries agreement between the two parties, Morocco receives an annual EU aid of 14 million euros for the development of its fishing industry, but the Moroccan government spends "an important part" of this support for illegal expansion of the fishing industry in the part of Western Sahara that has occupied since 1975, the observatory said in a statement.

The communiqué states that the Observatory's report for 2017 on the expenditure of Morocco in Fisheries states that this situation is repeated for the third consecutive year.

In December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concluded that the Association and Trade Agreements between the EU and Morocco are not applicable to Western Sahara, which is a separate territory from Morocco.

WSRW recalled in its statement that "the only way to make the application of such agreements in Western Sahara legal is through the explicit consent of the Saharawi people, who were never consulted," laments the observatory.

WSRW has also denounced that the EU "has turned a blind eye on this legal condition and has begun negotiations with Morocco to modify the trade agreement to incorporate Western Sahara."

WSRW believes that Morocco's report on the spending of EU funds "illustrates the absurdly different approach of the EU towards the occupied territories of Palestine and Western Sahara."

The observatory notes that by the end of the Protocol, in July 2018, Morocco will have received a total of 56 million euros to support fishing.

WSRW has affirmed that according to the Moroccan government's own admission, at least 66.5% of this amount, 37.27 million euros, has been spent in its illegal fishing exploitation facilities in the occupied Western Sahara territory. "

WSRW has also emphasized in its annual report, that Morocco asked the EU to fund 36 of its fishing projects, 15 of which are located in occupied Western Sahara and 13 are partially planned and only seven projects will be carried out in Morocco.

Finally, the Observatory concludes that the European Commission is "fully aware" that it is financing Moroccan fisheries projects in occupied Western Sahara. SPS