EU Commission continues to disregard EU Court – Western Sahara Resource Watch

EU Commission continues to disregard EU Court – Western Sahara Resource Watch

The EU Commission has authored a new report detailing how Moroccan settlers benefit from a trade agreement that has been found illegal by the EU Court of Justice multiple times

Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has got access to a highly controversial document, dated 13 January 2023, written by the European Commission. The document is a so-called Staff Working Document (SWD), and its content addresses what the Commission refers to as “the advantages for the people of Western Sahara” of implementing the EU-Morocco trade agreement in Africa’s last colony.

So far, six consecutive rulings from the EU Court of Justice have found the application of EU-Morocco bilateral agreements – including the trade agreement that is subject of the SWD – to be illegal. The EU Commission has seemingly not bothered to take into account anything from the ten last years of legal developments.

The report is not yet published on the EU’s webpages. Download the report here. 

The introduction of the report explains that the document is a response to a request from the European Parliament “which wishes to be kept regularly informed about the effects of the application of tariff preferences to products from Western Sahara and potential benefits for affected populations”.

What the report omits, is that this request from the Parliament is rooted in another Staff Working Document from 2018, that was flawed on many levels. One such error was the EU Commission’s argument that the EU Court ruling of December 2016 – outlawing the application of the EU-Morocco trade agreement Western Sahara for not having been consented to by the people of the territory – allowed for continuing the agreement if it were to the benefit of the population living there.


Origen: Western Sahara Resource Watch