Member States back Commission mandate for Morocco

By slim margin, the permanent representatives of the Member States (COREPER) this morning supported the Commission’s proposal about the controversial fisheries agreement with Morocco.

Today’s meeting is only preparatory before the final decision on Monday, when fisheries ministers will meet in the Council. Five countries indicated they will vote no or abstain, which is at least one Member State short of stopping the Morocco agreement.

While COREPER gives an indication on how fisheries ministers will vote, there is a possibility of another outcome.

In an interview with Swedish Radio, the Swedish fisheries minister, Eskil Erlandsson, expressed hopes that more Member States will vote no or abstain on Monday. Sweden does not support the Commission’s proposal.

The vote in the Council is about giving the Commission a mandate to negotiate a one year extension of the protocol of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco. The Commission will then have to present the result of the negotiations to the Council and the European Parliament, who will both have to approve the negotiated agreement.

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