Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0055/2012

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/02/2012 - 13
CRE 14/02/2012 - 13

Votes :

PV 16/02/2012 - 8.7
CRE 16/02/2012 - 8.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0047/2012

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products (2012/2522(RSP))

Paul Murphy, Willy Meyer, Patrick Le Hyaric, Nikolaos Chountis, João Ferreira, Jacky Hénin, Sabine Wils, Søren Bo Søndergaard, Younous Omarjee, Sabine Lösing, Marie-Christine Vergiat on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products (2012/2522(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision (15975/2010),

–   having regard to the draft Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products, the replacement of Protocols 1, 2 and 3 and their Annexes and amendments to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part (15974/2010),

–   having regard to United Nations resolutions 1754, 1783, 1813, 1920 as well as all previous UN resolutions with reference to the conflict in Western Sahara as an issue of decolonisation, the solution to which must be based on the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Barcelona process, which was launched in 1995, led to Association Agreements between the European Union and around a dozen Southern Mediterranean countries;

B.  whereas the Barcelona Process claimed to aim at enhancing dialogue and cooperation thereby establishing an area of peace, security and stability;

C. whereas the Rabat roadmap, established in 2005, focused on boosting the creation of free trade agreements and further liberalisation over balanced development of the region in the interest of working people, small farmers and the poor;

D. whereas according to international law and several UN resolutions the Western Sahara is not part of Morocco and shall neither be excluded nor implicitly be included in any agreement the EU signs with the Kingdom of Morocco; and whereas the ECJ has affirmed that the Union is bound by international law in all its actions, and the inclusion of Western Sahara into the agreement would be in breach with international law;

E.  whereas the recent developments in North Africa and the Middle East have exposed the fundamental failure of the EU’s policy towards the countries of the Southern Mediterranean;

F.  whereas the key guidelines of the EU’s trade policy towards the Southern Mediterranean must be the promotion of peace, social security and social stability through regional integration, the sustainable development and diversification of the economies of the countries of the Southern Mediterranean in order to improve the living standards of its population;

G. whereas the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions have shown that democratic shortcomings have to be addressed first in any policy area between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries;

H. whereas food sovereignty and food security, the preservation of ecosystems and the strengthening of the economic and social fabric in the primary sector, either in EU countries or in third countries, demands the orientation of international trade away from the logic of competition that leads to the economic domination of multinationals and the concentration of wealth in their hands;

I.   whereas trade relations with Morocco should take into account the country’s economic and rural development needs, in particular the needs of small and medium producers both in Morocco and in the EU, therefore recognises the important role of family farming and of small-scale fisheries, the need to promote sustainable agriculture and fisheries activities, preserving natural resources, the rural environment, the marine environment and fish stocks, in particular via a sound water management and the avoidance of large mono-cultural plantations;

J.   whereas sustainable job opportunities should be enhanced in Morocco’s agricultural, fisheries and related sectors, emphasising the important role of family and peasant farming, respecting labour rights and seeking to widen the food processing industry, thus increasing job opportunities which need to result in qualified, secure, well paid and unionised jobs;

K. whereas special attention should be paid to the gender aspect, providing for more decent jobs for women, promoting solutions to combine family life and work for men and women;

L.  whereas the fruit and vegetable sector is of considerable importance in many rural regions of the Southern countries in the European Union, particularly in Spain, Portugal and France, where the economic and social crisis has reached alarming dimensions;

M. whereas a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) that DG Trade commissioned to the Manchester University on the subject of a fully fledged Free Trade Zone in the Mediterranean predicts growing social hardship and unsustainable environmental stress;

N. whereas the prolongation of the protocol to the EU fisheries agreement with Morocco was rejected by the European Parliament on 14 December 2011;

1.  Opposes the agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products as well as any steps towards concluding free trade agreements with the countries of the Mediterranean; is of the opinion that the conclusion of free trade agreements will adversely affect small farmers, working people and the youth, as well as the environment, both in the Southern Mediterranean and the EU;

2.  Urges the Commission to revoke the agreement in question and to initiate new negotiations with a view to meet the needs of sustainable economic and social development, food sovereignty and food security both in Morocco and in the EU countries, assuring mutual benefits and avoid competition among producers on both sides of the Mediterranean;

3.  Insists on concentrating efforts on strengthening North-South and South-South development cooperation when taking economic and trade decisions; and on the improvement of added value chains inside the different countries allowing for the generation of decent production and consumption patterns;

4.  Considers negotiations on an equal footing and with the involvements of all major stakeholders, the trade unions, the small and medium farmers’ organisations and the small-scale fisheries organisations as key points for successful trade relations in the interest of working people, small farmers, fishermen and the youth; insists therefore that the protection of natural resources, adequate payment for producers, decent wages, the creation of sustainable jobs which will bring stability to local markets and preserve the environment as key elements against which the outcome of any trade negotiation needs to be measured;

5.  Expresses its concern that according to latest UNICEF reports 1.5 million children of school going age are still denied their right to education and that child labour particularly in rural areas continues, and that growing export oriented production could undermine any effort to stop this unlawful practice;

6.  Underlines the need for further carefully conducted, independent Sustainability Impact Assessments that involve all major stakeholders, the trade unions, the small and medium farmers’ organisations and the small-scale fisheries organisations, in order to avoid any adverse affects for the people of the Southern Mediterranean and the people of the EU’s most fragile economies;

7.  Is convinced that in accordance with international law, Western Sahara has to be explicitly excluded from the realm of any agreement the EU concludes with the Kingdom of Morocco, while opening the door for separate agreements with the Western Saharan people, through their legitimate representatives, if they wish to do so;

8.  Reiterates that Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara has never been recognised by international law, as noted by the opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in October 1975; states that Morocco is illegally occupying the territory of Western Sahara and has not, therefore, any sovereignty over its natural resources, asks the EU to demand that the Kingdom of Morocco respect international law regarding the exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Member States, the Government of Morocco and the Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

Last updated: 8 February 2012Legal notice