Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B7-0047/2012

Texts tabled :


Debates :

OJ 14/02/2012 - 101

Votes :

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

Texts adopted :

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PE479.481v01-00} RC1
B7-0055/2012} RC1

pursuant to Rule 110(4) of the Rules of Procedure

replacing the motions by the following groups:

Verts/ALE (B7‑0047/2012)

GUE/NGL (B7‑0055/2012)

on the agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products

José Bové, Yannick Jadot, Raül Romeva i Rueda on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Paul Murphy, Willy Meyer, Jacky Hénin, Patrick Le Hyaric, Younous Omarjee, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Marisa Matias, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Søren Bo Søndergaard, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Miguel Portas, Helmut Scholz, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Sabine Lösing 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  

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 and 1920 and 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(4) 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 adoption of free trade agreements and further liberalisation rather than on balanced development of the region in the interests of working people, small farmers and the poor;

D. whereas Western Sahara is not part of Morocco and should neither explicitly nor implicitly be included in any agreement which the EU signs with the Kingdom of Morocco, whereas the Court of Justice of the EU has affirmed that the Union is bound by international law in all its actions, and whereas the inclusion of Western Sahara in the agreement would be in breach of international law;

E.  whereas the US Free Trade Agreement with Morocco does not include Western Sahara, as confirmed by US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick in his letter of 20 July 2004 to the House of Representatives;

F.  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;

G. 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, and 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;

H. 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;

I.   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, require the orientation of international trade away from the logic of competition that leads to economic domination by multinationals and the concentration of wealth in their hands;

J.   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-sized producers both in Morocco and in the EU, and whereas the European Parliament 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 by means of sound water management and the avoidance of large monocultural plantations;

K. whereas land grabbing by foreign investors has considerably increased in recent years, with negative consequences for local communities;

L.  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;

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

N. 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, Greece and France, where the economic and social crisis has taken on alarming dimensions;

O. whereas a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) which DG Trade commissioned Manchester University to perform on the subject of a fully-fledged Free Trade Zone in the Mediterranean predicts growing social hardship and unsustainable environmental stress, particularly in the first ten years of its existence;

P.  whereas the extension 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 young people, as well as the environment, in both the Southern Mediterranean and the EU;

2.  Urges the Commission to initiate new negotiations with a clear mandate 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 avoiding competition among producers on both sides of the Mediterranean;

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

4.  Considers negotiations on an equal footing and with the involvement of all major stakeholders, the trade unions, small and medium-sized farmers’ organisations and small-scale fisheries organisations to be key points for successful trade relations in the interests of working people, small farmers, fishermen and young people; insists therefore that the protection of natural resources, adequate payment for producers, decent wages and the creation of sustainable jobs which will bring stability to local markets and preserve the environment are 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 age in Morocco are still denied their right to education, that child labour continues, particularly in rural areas, 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, trade unions, small and medium-sized farmers’ organisations and small-scale fisheries organisations, in order to avoid any adverse effects on 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 cannot be included in any agreement that the EU concludes with the Kingdom of Morocco, while the door should be opened to separate agreements with the Western Saharan people, concluded through their legitimate representatives, if they wish to pursue this course;

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 does not, therefore, have any sovereignty over its natural resources; calls on 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 United Nations Committee of 24 (Special Committee on Decolonisation), the Government of Morocco and the Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

Last updated: 14 February 2012Legal notice