Casablanca — The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Wednesday annulled the December 10, 2015 judgment of the EU's General Court that had ruled on the partial annulment of the agriculture agreement between Morocco and the European Union.
Casablanca — The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Wednesday annulled the December 10, 2015 judgment of the EU’s General Court that had ruled on the partial annulment of the agriculture agreement between Morocco and the European Union.
According to a communiqué by the Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), the Court has rejected as inadmissible the Polisario’s appeal and ordered the Polisario front to bear its own costs and those incurred by the Council of the European Union in the legal process.
Last December, the European Court of Justice had annulled the important agricultural trade agreement signed in 2012 between Morocco and the EU in response to the Polisario’s appeal that the so-called Western Sahara’s resources would be exploited by Moroccan authorities.
In its justification of the ruling, the EJC claimed that, during the signing of the agreement, the EU “did not verify whether the exploitation of natural resources of the Western Sahara under Moroccan control was done or not for the benefit of the people of that territory.”
The ruling was deemed unfair and was rejected by Morocco. At the time, Moroccan Delegate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mbarka Bouaida dismissed the court’s ruling. It is “unacceptable and contradicts the spirit of longstanding partnership between Morocco and the EU, which is based on respect of sovereignty and universal values of democracy,”she told L’Economiste.
On December 14, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union appealed the EU court’s decision. The council had adopted the appeal without debate or discussion. But still, nothing happened.
Naturally, the ruling led to tension between Rabat and Brussels, so much so that on February 25, the Moroccan government decided to suspect contact with the EU. “The government denounces the political character of this decision, its unfounded arguments, its skewed logic and conclusions that are contrary to international law and UN Security Council’s resolutions,” Minister of Communications Mustapha El Khalfi told reporters at the time.
Three weeks later, Rabat re-established contact with the EU after it assured Morocco that it would tackle the issue.
To the delight of Moroccan authorities and the EU, the EU Court of Justice on Wednesday released an official statement announcing the annulment of the December 10 decision:
“By its appeal the Council of the European Union is seeking to have set aside the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 10 December 2015, Front Polisario v Council […] concerning reciprocal liberalization measures on agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products, the replacement of Protocols 1, 2 and 3 and their Annexes and amendments to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part.”