The annulment of the fisheries and agriculture agreements between Morocco and the European Union extended to Western Sahara, pronounced Wednesday by the Court of the European Union, is a triumphant victory for the Sahrawi people before the European justice, the Polisario Front said in a statement.
“Triumphant victory of the Sahrawi people before the European justice this Wednesday, September 29, 2021, the Court of the European Union delivered two historic judgments for the Sahrawi cause”, said the Polisario Front in its first reaction to the European Court’s decision.
“First, the Tribunal finds that the Polisario Front is the representative of the Sahrawi people who, therefore, has the capacity to take legal action before European courts to defend the sovereign rights of its people with regard to its national territory and natural resources”, added the representation of the Polisario Front in Brussels.
“Basically, the Tribunal annuls the new EU-Morocco agreements because they were illegally imposed on the Sahrawi people, against its consent,” it clarified.
“In particular, the Tribunal notes that, for consent to be valid, it must be free and genuine, which is the fundamental criterion of the right to self-determination and independence, in application of the law of decolonisation,” the Polisario Front clarified.
In this context, the Tribunal stresses that the so-called “consultations” with the “populations concerned” can in no way replace the consent of the Saharawi people, who constitute a “people” on an equal footing with other peoples under international law, adds Polisario in its written statement.
Likewise, the Court definitively rejects the fallacious argument of benefits, which cannot substitute the unavoidable requirement of consent.
Second, the Court ruled that the Sahrawi people, represented by the Polisario Front, constitutes a third party to EU-Moroccan relations, whose consent is required for any international agreement applicable to Western Sahara, regardless of the alleged benefits”, the Sahrawi representation welcomed.
With its two rulings delivered today, in line with the Court’s case-law, the Court of the European Union reinforces and consolidates the achievements of the 2016 ruling.
In its ruling of December 21, 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union made two achievements. First, the Court recalled that, by virtue of the right to self-determination and independence, Western Sahara has a separate and distinct status vis-à-vis the Kingdom of Morocco, rejecting the expansionist claims of the occupier.
“The Court’s 2016 ruling was very clear, but the European Commission chose to force its way through. Through its rulings, the Court reminds European leaders that no one is above the law. Respect for the rule of law and international law is required of all because they are the condition for peace in the world,” declared Oubi Bouchraya, member of the Polisario Front’s National Secretariat in charge of Europe and the European Union, quoted in the statement.
“We therefore call on European leaders to comply with the Court’s rulings, as their defiance of European justice continues to hinder the decolonisation process of Western Sahara,” he added.