EU-Morocco fisheries deal rejected by the European Parliament

Published on December 14, 2011

At a plenary today, members of the EP rejected the fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) with Morocco by 326 votes to 296.

The agreement had been strongly criticised by the fisheries committee rapporteur Carl Haglund, and both the budget and development committees voted against the extension. However, the fisheries committee, which hasseveral MEPs noted for representing vested interests from the large-scale industrial fishing fleet, had supported the extension by 12 votes to 8.

Several MEPs had written an op-ed in the European Voice prior to the vote, calling for this rejection on financial, environmental and legal grounds. Moreover, an independent evaluation of the agreement concluded that the agreement has been a failure and benefits the EU less than any other FPA.

After the plenary rejected the deal, Christofer Fjellner, a Swedish MEP from the EPP group, said he voted against the deal to “stop the tax-subsidised overfishing and… against the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara”. Åsa Westlund, a Swedish MEP from S&D stated that this was a triumph for international law and the people of Western Sahara.