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European Parliament Rejects EU-Morocco Deal

EU and MOROCCO - The European Parliament has rejected the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.

The fisheries deal, which has effectively been in force since February awaiting the Parliament’s verdict, will now have to be suspended.

After the vote, fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said the Commission will fully respect the vote and that she will propose to the Council that it repeals the provisional application of the Protocol.

In a written statement, Ms Damanaki wrote: “We don’t know if a new Fisheries Protocol with Morocco is possible. We are going to explore all the possible ways forward.”

“In any case – as I have already stated on several occasions – if a new fisheries Protocol with Morocco were to be proposed and agreed, it would have to give convincing answers to the key issues of environmental sustainability, economic profitability and international legality.”

Ms Damanaki further commented: "Further to the European Parliament vote, the provisional application of the Protocol comes to an end and the EU vessels will stop fishing. This will be done in full accordance with international law and by applying the speediest procedures at our disposal. I remain committed to continue dialogue with Morocco on fisheries issues and have taken good note of the European Parliament's request to the Commission to move negotiations on a new Protocol forward"

The Minister for Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs in Spain, Rosa Aguilar, said that Spain will ask the European Union to compensate for losses caused to the Spanish fleet by the Parliament's decision, as Morocco immediately ordered EU fleets out of its waters.

Ms Aguilar reiterated that she respects the decision made but is urging for the Parliament to make a rapid start on a new EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement.

The European Parliament also adopted a resolution with demands on future fisheries agreements with Morocco.

Lucy Towers

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