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Budget rapporteur calls for rejection of fish pact

The rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee recommends Parliament to reject the one-year extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement. “Tax payers’ money needs to be spent wisely and legally”, he said.
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In the budget committee's 11 October hearing, French MEP François Alfonsi, the committee's rapporteur on the EU-Morocco fish agreement, advised Parliament to dismiss the one-year extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement.

According to the rapporteur, the one single agreement with Morocco eats away a sizeable percentage of the entire budget that the EU has set aside for these types of bilateral fisheries agreements. “25% of the fisheries budget line is spent on this agreement – that is a lot”, Alfonsi remarked.

The budget committee is assigned to evaluate the economic impact of the agreement, i.e. how tax payers’ money is being used. “Generally very disappointing”, is the general conclusion of the independent evaluation report issued by a consultancy firm at the request of the European Commission. That report qualifies the fisheries agreement with Morocco as placing the heaviest relative burden on EU tax payers of all EU agreements and the least cost-effective of all ongoing bilateral agreements.

Carl Haglund, rapporteur for the Fisheries Agreement and also member of the budget committee, added that “this deal does not benefit EU tax payers. Perhaps some Spanish fishermen, but not EU tax payers.”

The recommendation of budget’s rapporteur is in line with the observations of the rapporteurs of Parliament's development and fisheries committee. But the opposition to their conclusions is also remarkably similar in all three committees: mainly Spanish and French socialists and Christian-democrats accuse the rapporteurs of professing a political opinion on Western Sahara.

“The budget is a political issue if you look at the underpinning principles”, budget rapporteur Alfonsi argued. “Principles such as legal terms and sustainable development need to be met with the expenditure approved by this committee. And this agreement presents a double problem: it is not regular in legal terms, nor is it in line with the sustainable objectives that Parliament upholds”.

“Tax payers’ money needs to be spent wisely and legally”, he concluded.


News archive:
01.12 - 20117 Dec: Conference on EU fisheries in European Parliament
24.11 - 2011Parliament committee approves Morocco fisheries deal
07.11 - 2011Two EU Parliament committees reject EU-Morocco Fish Pact
06.11 - 2011Bastagli: Europe turns its back on the Arab Spring's forgotten nation
03.11 - 2011Sharks in danger of extinction in Western Sahara
24.10 - 2011Scottish fishing sector favours illegal fisheries in occupied waters
11.10 - 2011Budget rapporteur calls for rejection of fish pact
10.10 - 2011Development rapporteur urges Parliament to thumb down fish deal
04.10 - 2011Commission criticised over handling of Morocco agreement
24.09 - 2011Fisheries rapporteur recommends end to EU-Morocco fish pact
07.09 - 2011Divisive Fish Pact possibly referred to European Court of Justice
01.09 - 2011MEPs' disappointment with fisheries agreement with Morocco
08.08 - 2011Ireland unsatisfied by Moroccan fish report
13.07 - 2011EU Council and Morocco sign extension illegal fish pact


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