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Parliamentary question - E-001112/2023Parliamentary question
E-001112/2023

Spanish-Moroccan trade of Western Saharan phosphorus and phosphates

Question for written answer  E-001112/2023
to the Commission
Rule 138
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[1]. 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[2]. 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[3].

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[4]. A number of Spanish companies are embedded throughout the Western Saharan phosphorus supply chain, ranging from a prime infrastructure builder in Bou Craa[5], to the law firm of a former foreign affairs minister that helps to justify the trade by providing lobbying services[6].

Submitted: 31.3.2023

Last updated: 13 April 2023
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