The Spanish government has been calling for the ratification of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement to enable Spaniards and their vessels to fish in Moroccan waters.
Rabat – In addition to the topics discussed during Thursday’s government council, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani’s cabinet also adopted draft Law 14.19 to approve the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.
The government council also adopted the Protocol for the Implementation of the Agreement and the related exchange of letters.
The protocol is an integral part of the agreement signed by Morocco and the EU on January 14.
The government confirmed that the “Moroccan Saharan provinces are an integral part of the national territory where it exercises its full sovereignty as in the rest of the national territory” through the letters exchanged between the two parties, Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi told the press after the meeting.
El Khalfi said that the agreement is committed to “developing sustainable fishing in the fishing zone on the basis of the principle of non-discrimination between the different fleets present in these waters and aims to lay down the framework for a legal, environmental, economic and social governance of fishing activities carried out by the EU fleets.”
The agreement covers the fishing area from parallel 35 to parallel 22, from Cap Spartel in northern Morocco to Cap Blanc in southern Morocco, including the waters off Western Sahara.
It specifies the fishing zones and access conditions for EU vessels and increases the EU’s financial contribution from the previous agreement’s annual average of €40.0 million to €52.2 million.
In addition to the fisheries agreement, the government council also adopted a draft law to approve an agreement to apply to products from Morocco’s southern provinces at the same tariff preferences as those covered by the EU-Morocco association agreement.
The draft Law 10.19 approved the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters on the amendment of draft agreements number 2 and 4 of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement, concluded on October 25 in Brussels. The agreement establishes an association between the European communities and their member states.
El Khalfi said that the first draft agreement concerns the tariffs on products imported to the EU from Morocco, while the second concerns the definition of the concept of “sourced products” and administrative cooperation.