Spanish-Moroccan trade of Western Saharan phosphorus and phosphates
Question for written answer E-001112/2023
to the Commission
Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI), Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI)
The EU has increased its imports of Moroccan phosphorus since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Morocco currently accounts for 50 % of Europe’s phosphate imports. The Union abides by Article 24 of UN position 2002/161 of 12 February 2002.
During the first quarter of 2022, Morocco’s state-owned OCP mining and fertiliser production group recorded a turnover of EUR 24 billion, up by 77 % compared to last year, and stated that production could increase by 50 % over the next four years. One of the biggest mines in Western Sahara, Bou Craa, is controlled by Morocco, a country that possesses almost 70 % of the planet’s known phosphorus reserves.
Spain unilaterally recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara in 2022, with dire consequences both for the human rights of Saharawis and for European small and medium-sized enterprises. A number of Spanish companies are embedded throughout the Western Saharan phosphorus supply chain, ranging from a prime infrastructure builder in Bou Craa, to the law firm of a former foreign affairs minister that helps to justify the trade by providing lobbying services.
- 1.Will the Commission widen the scope of the Conflict Minerals Regulationto include imports of Western Saharan phosphates?
- 2.Will it propose diversification strategies for the Union’s use of phosphorus and phosphates?
- 3.Will it implement the rulings of cases T‑344/19, T‑356/19 and T-279/19?
-  Spain, Italy and France account for over three quarters of the Union’s imports of phosphorus within fertiliser products.
-  https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/europe-searches-for-alternatives-in-fertiliser-supply-battle/.
-  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/03/06/phosphorus-saved-our-way-of-life-and-now-threatens-to-end-it.
-  https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2022-003260_EN.html.
-  https://vest-sahara.s3.amazonaws.com/wsrw/feature-images/File/157/6081d8e0f3bcb_Pforplunder2021_Web.pdf.
-  https://wsrw.org/en/news/the-phosphate-exports.
-  https://policy.trade.ec.europa.eu/development-and-sustainability/conflict-minerals-regulation_en.
-  Such as wastewater management techniques.