Spain has just taken over the rotating presidency of the European Union from July 1 and for 6 months, the opportunity to defend its interests, particularly in terms of fishing. Efforts will be concentrated on finding a solution to the Morocco-EU fisheries agreement which is soon to expire.
In two weeks, the country will have to deal with a big file, that of the fishing agreement between the European Union and Morocco which does not seem to be in the renewal plans on the European side.
Spain is seeking to renew the agreement and will do its best to obtain guarantees or compensation for its fishermen in the event of non-renewal. The country is the first beneficiary of this agreement which is due to expire on July 17.
This agreement benefits a total of 93 fishing boats from Spain, Andalusia, the Canary Islands and Galicia. The fishermen want at all costs to continue to exploit the maritime resources in Moroccan waters to continue to keep afloat a whole tourist industry and export to other European countries.
In the event of non-renewal, fishing boats will be forced to withdraw from Moroccan waters and this will have a considerable impact on the fishing sector in Spain.
Over the next few days, the European Union will also know the judgment on appeal to rule on the “legality” of the agreement concluded between Morocco and the 27. The appeal of the first court decision was made on the initiative of Europeans.
The Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of Spain and Morocco, Luis Planas, and Mohamed Sadiki held a bilateral meeting during the latest FAO conference in Rome. Naturally, they addressed the question of the possibility of renewing the fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco.
But at the European level, several sources have indicated in recent days that there had been no direct discussions with Morocco about a possible renewal. The two camps stumble on the Moroccan Sahara since the decision of the Court of Justice in 2021, canceled the fishing and association agreements between the EU and Morocco and positioned itself in favor of the separatist militia of the Polisario.
The Spanish Minister, aware of the economic and social implications that the non-renewal of the agreement, sought solutions in Brussels trying to reach agreements with the main countries concerned to conclude bilateral agreements and maintain the advantages but the mission s announcement difficult given the time available before the expiry of the agreements.