European Parliament Adopts EUMorocco Fisheries Agreement

Rabat – The European Parliament adopted the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement in a plenary session in Strasbourg today.The fisheries agreement received 415 votes in favor and 189 votes against.According to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), 49 MEPs were absent for the vote. Morocco and the EU signed the fisheries deal on January 14, one of the final steps in the process before ratification at the EU Parliament. The deal will allow European vessels to fish in Moroccan waters for a set amount of compensation.Read Also: EU Parliament’s Fisheries Committee Adopts EU-Morocco Fisheries DealThe deal covers the fishing area from parallel 35 and Cap Spartel in northern Morocco to parallel 22 and Cap Blanc in southern Morocco, including the waters off Western Sahara.The agreement specifies the fishing areas and access conditions for EU vessels. It also increases the EU’s financial contribution from the previous agreement’s annual payment of €40.0 million to €52.2 million.In addition to the fisheries agreement, the European Parliament also adopted the EU-Morocco agriculture deal on January 16.At the EU Parliament, 444 MEPs voted for the renewal of the agreement.Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said that the adoption of the agriculture agreement required intense efforts.After the adoption of the agreement, the High Representative of the EU Federica Mogherini commended the partnership between Morocco and the EU.She added that  the two partners are aspiring to make a qualitative leap in their ties to build a regional partnership, particularly in the Mediterranean, the Arab world, and Africa.The adoption of the two agreements comes despite Polisario’s threats to hamper the agreement process.Polisario threatened to appeal to the European Court of Justice and the United Nations.The Moroccan government, however, emphasized that it had already informed the UN of the adoption of the agriculture agreement.Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN Omar Hilale said the EU decision would create a “legal structure that would facilitate many economic and development activities and opens the way for arranging other cooperation aspects between the two parties.”

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