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Procedure : 2021/2747(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0359/2021

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 10/06/2021 - 7.1
CRE 10/06/2021 - 7.1

Votes :

Texts adopted :


PDF 149kWORD 47k


<TitreSuite>with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on Breach of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and the use of minors by the Moroccan authorities in the migratory crisis in Ceuta</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Željana Zovko, Andrey Kovatchev, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez, Michael Gahler, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Paulo Rangel, Miriam Lexmann, Gabriel Mato, Loránt Vincze, Vladimír Bilčík, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Ivan Štefanec, Inese Vaidere, Tomáš Zdechovský, Peter Pollák, Christian Sagartz, José Manuel Fernandes, Stanislav Polčák, Loucas Fourlas, Eva Maydell, Michaela Šojdrová, Luděk Niedermayer, Jiří Pospíšil, Maria Walsh</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0349/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.


European Parliament resolution on Breach of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and the use of minors by the Moroccan authorities in the migratory crisis in Ceuta


The European Parliament,

   having regard to its previous resolutions on Morocco,

 having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989, especially the principle of the best interests of the child (Articles 3 and 18),

   having regard to the General Comments of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (concretely, No. 14),

 having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the “Charter”),

 having regard to the Moroccan statement of 1 June 2021 on the issue of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in an illegal situation in certain European countries,

 having regard to the two Statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad of 31 May 2021, concerning the Spanish-Moroccan crisis,

 having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement established between the EU and its Member States, and the Kingdom of Morocco,

 having regard to the Agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Morocco on cooperation in the field of prevention of illegal emigration of unaccompanied minors, their protection and their concerted return, signed in Rabat on 6 March 2007, which entered into force the 2 October 2012,

  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the relations between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco are legally based on the 2000 Association Agreement; whereas as a close neighbour, Morocco is a privileged partner of the EU in the field of political and economic cooperation as well as trade, technical and development cooperation, as it is reflected in the intended instruments, which include the annual action programmes, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa or the Global Europe Programme, and its participation in Erasmus+;


B. whereas relations have to be safeguarded and re-established to the level of that of the situation preceding the crisis within the context of good neighbourhood relations, and to proceed to advance  the mutually beneficial relationship, implementing the recently published new EU Agenda for the Mediterranean, in the context of a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood, in which Morocco is invited to strengthen its partnership with the EU in various areas;


C.  whereas starting on 17 April 2021, an unprecedented surge of crossings to Spanish territory occurred with more than 10,000 people entering into the Spanish autonomous city of Ceuta due to the Moroccan police opening the gates of their border fence; whereas at least 1,500 were unaccompanied minors, and; whereas some of the children were previously in school and, therefore, were undocumented at the time of their crossing;

D.  whereas according to the International Organization of Migration, many have already been returned through family reunification and tracing assistance, however, many of the children are still in Spanish premises, such as at the Tarajal warehouse and the migrant reception centre at Piniers, and families are looking for their missed children,

E. whereas most of the children were wrongly led to believe that star football players were playing a match, to which entrance was free, in the city of Ceuta, and they were on a school excursion;

F. whereas the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions and decisions concerning the unaccompanied minors as well as their physical and mental well-being, and thus, with the acknowledgement and the facilitation by all authorities concerned to recognize them, and with duly and strengthened cooperation, to find their parents or close family members, and return them safely to their families, as required under international law, these are not ‘push-backs’ as children were not intentionally leaving their families;

G whereas the conflict was triggered due to a political and diplomatic crisis after the Polisario Front leader, Brahim Ghali, was secretly admitted with a fake name, to a Spanish hospital, for humanitarian reasons due to the state of his health caused by the COVID-19 virus;

H whereas the established position of the European Union with respect to the Western Sahara conflict, is in full respect of international law, and has been reiterated on numerous occasions, regardless of the decision of the US administration of in December 2020 to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara;

I. whereas international law and the principle of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of state borders must be respected;

  1. Rejects the use of the migration of unaccompanied minors as an instrument of foreign policy in the context of divergences between States; regrets the escalation of the political and diplomatic crisis, which should not undermine the strong and good neighbourhood relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union and its Members States, and the long-standing and trustful cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, counter-jihadism, migration and trade policies;
  2. Welcomes the step taken by the Moroccan authorities of 1st June 2021, to definitively resolve the issue of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in  irregular situations on European territory; and to carry out a repatriation of children to their families, which must be guided by the best interests of the child and carried out in compliance with national and international law, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Morocco has been a signatory since 1990, and has ratified twice, in June and July 1993 and the relevant agreements between the Union and its Member States and Morocco, especially the Agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Morocco on cooperation in the the field of prevention of illegal migration of unaccompanied minors, their protection and their concerted return, done in Rabat on 6 March 2007; in this sense, underlines that strong cooperation on migration challenges is in the mutual interest of the EU and Morocco; and, calls on the Kingdom of Morocco to uphold  its commitments effectively, as it is crucial to ensure the safe return of children to their families whilst safeguarding their rights under international law;
  3. Recalls that Ceuta is an EU external border; welcomes the prompt reaction of FRONTEX to offer its resources in support of the Spanish government to meet the challenges of migration, created as a consequence of this crisis;


  1. Considers that the modus operandi in which the admittance of the Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali, to a Spanish hospital, which initially triggered this migration crisis, could have manifestly been much better managed; affirms that an adequate handling of the situation could have probably spared the outbreak and escalation of this crisis;


  1. Expresses its full solidarity with the citizens of Ceuta and congratulates the efficient and professional response given by the Spanish security bodies and its army deployed in the Autonomous City in coping with the crisis and contributing to saving  many lives;
  2. Calls on the Moroccan authorities to facilitate the return of the almost 13,000 seasonal workers stranded in the South of Spain, and who are to return in the coming weeks;
  3. Reiterates to the European Union consolidated position concerning Western Sahara, which is based upon the full respect of international law in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and UN-led political process of achieving a just, lasting, peaceful and mutually acceptable negotiated solution by both parties;
  4. Reiterates the inviolability of EU Member States’ national borders and the full and non-negotiable respect of the territorial integrity of EU Members States as a basic principle of international law and as a principle of European solidarity, and recalls that undermining the territorial sovereignty of Member States cannot be tolerated;
  5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Moroccan Government.



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