On Wednesday, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling canceling two trade decisions of the Council of the European Union, related to two agreements concluded by Morocco and the bloc on marine and agricultural fishing, covering the coasts and products of the Sahara region.
The decision follows complaints lodged by the Polisario Front against the two agreements, which include the coasts and products of the Sahara region, which has been disputed for decades between Rabat and the Front.
The court said, in a statement, that it “cancels the decisions of the Council of the European Union, related to its agreement with Morocco to amend the customs preferences granted by the former to products of Moroccan origin, and the partnership agreement between them in the field of fisheries.”
She explained that “the cancellation of the two agreements comes because they include products coming from the disputed territory of the Sahara between Rabat and the Polisario Front… the decision came based on a lawsuit submitted by the Polisario.”
According to the statement, the court’s decision will not enter into force until two months later.
On July 6, 2019, a new marine fishing agreement between Morocco and the European Union entered into force, after it was signed in Brussels (the capital of the Union), early that year.
On February 25, 2016, Morocco suspended contacts with the European Union, in response to a preliminary ruling of the European Court of Justice, in December 2015, to cancel the agreement on the exchange of agricultural and fisheries products between the two sides, for it included the products of the Sahara region.
In the following month, Rabat decided to resume contacts with Brussels after the Kingdom received assurances that things would be restored.
Morocco proposes expanded autonomy in the Sahara region under its sovereignty, while the “Polisario” calls for a referendum for self-determination, a proposal supported by Algeria, which hosts refugees from the region.