MEPs want to seek an opinion from the Court of Justice before voting the fisheries agreement

In a motion for resolution submitted last week, 110 MEPs urged the European Parliament to seek an opinion from the Court of Justice before voting the fisheries agreement. Last month, a similar resolution was rejected by the EU Parliament before voting the Association agreement.

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The European Parliament./Ph. DR

On the 12th of February, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the newly proposed EU-Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in a plenary session. On the 6th of the same month, 110 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) signed a motion in which they urged the European Union’s Parliament to «seek an opinion from the Court of Justice» the agreement before the vote takes place.

The motion was submitted last Wednesday, was signed by «heavyweights», reports Western Sahara Resource Watch, including the Chair of the Committee for International Trade, two Vice Chairs of the Committee for Fisheries, and Vice Chair of the European Parliament.

According to the same source, the motion for resolution will to be voted before MEPs decide on the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement on Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch has the same opinion

In their motion MEPs urged the European Union Parliament to allow the CJEU to consider «Article 218(11) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations, the judgment of the General Court of 10 December 2015, the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of 21 December 2016, and the judgment of the CJEU of 27 February 2018».

Meanwhile, New York-based international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a note addressed to MEPs. Published Monday, February the 11th, HRW’s text urged MEPs to «seek European Court’s Opinion on EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement’s Compatibility with International Law».

The organization stated that it is «concerned that the SFPA fails to meet the requirements of international law, and in particular of international humanitarian law (IHL)», stressing that MEPs must seek the «help of the European Court of Justice» on the matter.

This is not the first time that MEPs submit a motion with the same objective. The new rapporteur for the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) wrote, January, on her website that she will be voting «in favor of a resolution tabled by a cross-party group of MEPs to ask the ECJ for an opinion».

In a long article on the EU-Morocco agreement, Marietje Schaake stated that the resolution, submitted by the ALDE group, «does not mean we ask the ECJ to decide for us, it means we will be able to take a vote with more legal certainty later».

The motion for resolution, however, was rejected by the other MEPs as confirmed by Marietje Schaake’s assistant, contacted January by Yabiladi.

On the same week, the Parliament approved the EU-Morocco association agreement.

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