A new exclusive world first revelation by WSHRW. For the first time is published the opinion of the Legal Service of the European Parliament on the so-called “Agricultural Agreement”, the new Association Agreement between the EU and Morocco signed at the end of 2009, at the time that Morocco illegally deported Aminatu Haidar. Said Agreement was finally published in 2012 in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The Trade Committee of the European Parliament requested an opinion of this Institution’s Legal Service on the legality of the agreement.
The opinion issued by the Legal Service, which is very negative for Moroccan interests, was kept secret. The European Commission and the European Council themselves have not ventured to invoke it to address the action brought before the European Court of Justice by Frente Polisario against this Agreement.
The opinion establishes in two key paragraphs the illegality of the Association Agreement for not having taken into account the “wishes and interests” of the Saharawi population and for not guaranteeing that products originating in Western Sahara are labelled as “product from Western Sahara” and not as “product from Morocco”.
These are the most important paragraphs of the European Parliament’s Legal Service of 11 January 2011, which WSHRW publishes in an exclusive world first:
«However, the Legal Service lacks information whether and how the proposed Agreement will be applied to the territories of Western Sahara and how it will actually benefit local people. It also lacks information whether the further liberalisation of those goods is in accordance with the wishes and interests of the people of Western Sahara. Under these circumstances, it seems appropriate to clarify these questions with the Commission before taking a position on the consent to the conclusion of the proposed Agreement. If those questions cannot be answered in the affirmative, then it can be argued that by concluding the Agreement, the European Union is infringing international law» (nº 30).
«In order to be in conformity with international law given the special status of Western Sahara, the geographical indications originating in the Western Sahara must be fully respected by the future agreement (if it will be applied to the territories of Western Sahara). Indeed, geographical indications can protect and preserve intellectual property related to traditional cultures, geographical diversity and production methods» (nº 35).