On 11 February the European Commission adopted a proposal for a draft negotiating mandate for a one year extension of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) between the EU and Morocco. The agreement is due to expire at the end of February.
The Commission is under pressure from fishing nations who wish to ensure their vessels can continue to operate under the agreement. But policymakers are also under pressure not to renew the agreement because it includes the waters of the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The Commission has therefore decided to propose a one year extension “to assess the data and information obtained from the Moroccan authorities about the regional impacts of the protocol and to define next steps”.
The FPA is criticised for being in breach of international law as it disregards the rights of the Sahawari people (see CFP-reformwatch article).