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YEPP urges exclusion of Western Sahara from EU-Morocco trade deals

YEPP, the youth section of the EU parliament's conservative platform EPP, has asked the EU to not enter into deals with Morocco that also covers natural resources from the annexed Western Sahara. WSRW was just made aware of this text, originally adopted in YEPP congress in May.
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The resolution below was adopted at the YEPP Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 10, 2013. Western Sahara Resource Watch was just recently made aware of it. The resolution can also be downloaded at YEPP webpages or here.

YEPP, The Youth of the European People's Party is said to be the largest political youth organisation in Europe with more than 1,6 million people from 39 countries. YEPP was founded in 1997 and "gathers 57 organizations sharing Christian Democratic, Conservative, Moderate and Liberal Conservative values", according to the organisation.

YEPP Congress, Sofia, Bulgaria, May 10, 2013.
Resolution: Defend the rights of the people of Western Sahara

No European Member State recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over or claims to the territory of Western Sahara.
More than 100 UN resolutions call for the Saharawi peopleís right to self-determination over their territory. Since Morocco illegally annexed parts of Western Sahara in 1975, half of the Saharawi people have fled to refugee camps in Algeria. The other half live under Moroccan rule. The UNís plans to carry out a referendum on independence are put on ice.
YEPP shares the concerns of the UN Secretary-General and the European Parliament with regard to the continuous human rights violations committed by Morocco in Western Sahara. A report from the UN special rapporteur on torture describes the total impunity for officials carrying out violations in Moroccan jails. The recent conviction of Saharawi civilian activists by a Moroccan military court is not in line with international standards on fair trials.
Western Sahara is ranked at the very bottom of global rankings taking into account freedoms and civil rights, such as in Freedom Houseís annual reports. Last year, after a recommendation in the UN Human Rights Council, Morocco stated that it does not wish to follow international minimum standards for registration of civil society organizations, including for Saharawi organizations that advocate the Saharawi peopleís right to self-determination.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon noted in his latest report the pressing need for a permanent mechanism for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara. While the efforts were lobbied by the US in the Security Council in April 2013, the suggestion of including a human rights component in the UN operation in Western Sahara was again prevented by Morocco.

YEPP welcomes the establishment of free trade agreements between the EU and Morocco, and salutes the negotiations over a so-called Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, launched on 22 April 2013. YEPP believes that such trade relations will be to the mutual benefit of the peoples of Morocco and Europe, and will give the EU further leverage for demanding respect for human rights from the Moroccan authorities.
However, EUís envisioned free trade agreement with Morocco should only apply to the territory of Morocco proper, and not the territory of Western Sahara. The UN has established that the natural resource exploitation of Western Sahara cannot take place unless in respect of the wishes of the Saharawi people, as the original people of the territory.
An inclusion of Western Sahara into the free trade negotiations will offer an unfortunate sign of political recognition of the illegal Moroccan annexation of three quarters of the territory. Out of such concerns, the US and the EFTA states have clarified that their respective free trade agreements with Morocco only cover the internationally recognized Moroccan territory Ė and not Western Sahara.

YEPP calls on:
- YEPP urges Morocco to cooperate with the Security Council in allowing the UN operation in the territory to monitor human rights violations.
- YEPP urges Morocco to follow up the recommendations from the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
- YEPP urges the European Commission to clarify that a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Morocco will only cover the territory of Morocco, as it is internationally recognized, specifically excluding the territory of Western Sahara.
- YEPP urges the parties to the conflict to find a solution to the dispute that allows the Saharawi people to immediately exercise their legitimate right to self-determination in relation to their territory emphasizing that any political solution should be established through regional negotiations and peace talks, including the Moroccan government, the political leaders of the Sahrawi people and, not in the least, the Algerian government.



23.10 - 2015 / 23.10 - 2015Morocco continues to discard by-catches in occupied Western Sahara
29.06 - 2015 / 29.06 - 2015Moroccan government accused of fraud with EU anti-driftnet money
02.12 - 2014 / 02.12 - 2014Maria Damanaki opposed continued EU fishing in Western Sahara
18.09 - 2014 / 18.09 - 2014EU-Morocco fish deal: who's shown an interest so far?
18.09 - 2014 / 18.09 - 2014Dutch first to fish under unethical EU-Morocco fish deal
09.08 - 2014 / 09.08 - 2014UN former legal chief slams EU legal view as "preposterous"
21.07 - 2014 / 21.07 - 2014Illegal EU fish agreement with Morocco now ratified by King
14.03 - 2014 / 14.03 - 20149 detained, threats of jail if demonstrating against EU fisheries
11.02 - 2014 / 11.02 - 2014Here are the EU states that will benefit from the dirty fisheries
11.02 - 2014 / 11.02 - 2014Morocco adopts contentious EU-Morocco fish deal
10.12 - 2013 / 10.12 - 2013Occupied Sahara: EU undermining Human Rights on Human Rights Day
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013More vids of demonstration and victims of EU/Moroccan plans in Sahara
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013Western Sahara president asks UN intervention to stop EU and Morocco
08.12 - 2013 / 08.12 - 2013Many injured in protest against EU/Spain fish plans in Western Sahara
05.12 - 2013 / 05.12 - 2013EU fish plans illegal, 21 jurists and lawyers state
05.12 - 2013 / 05.12 - 2013267 organisations ask European Parliament to reject fish accord
04.12 - 2013 / 04.12 - 2013President of African Parliament calls on EU to respect Sahara rights
02.12 - 2013 / 02.12 - 2013Greenpeace: EU parliament must vote no to Western Sahara fisheries
18.11 - 2013 / 18.11 - 2013European Liberal Youth calls for no EU fishing in occupied Sahara
15.11 - 2013 / 15.11 - 2013YEPP urges exclusion of Western Sahara from EU-Morocco trade deals


The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law. The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.
عريضة لوقف النهب


يحضر الاتحاد الاوربي لإبرام اتفاق غير اخلاقي جديد للصيد البحري مع المغرب في سنة 2013.

مرة اخرى، يعتزم الاتحاد الاوربي الصيد في المياه الاقليمية للصحراء الغربية المحتلة في خرق سافر للقانون الدولي. وقع هذه العريضة للتنديد بذلك.

"EU fisheries in Western Sahara must be stopped"

Western Sahara human rights activist Aminatou Haidar hopes for increased attention to the EU plundering of occupied Western Sahara.


10.04 - 2012
Guardian: EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?
15.12 - 2011
EU Observer: Morocco expels EU fishing boats
15.12 - 2011
BBC News: Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
15.12 - 2011
European Voice: MEPs reject EU-Morocco fisheries pact
15.12 - 2011
Reuters: EU lawmakers reject Morocco fisheries pact

Human rights activist Malak Amidane denounces EU fisheries