EP’s Committees Foil Malevolent Maneuvers of Polisario & its Lobbyists

The approval of the EU-Morocco agriculture and fisheries agreements by several committees of the European Parliament has foiled all the maneuvers of the Polisario Front and its European lobbyists and their attempts to undermine Moroccan-European partnership.

Last Monday, the committees on International Trade (INTA) and budget in the European Parliament were the latest to adopt by a large majority the agricultural and fisheries agreements.

These vote come just three weeks after the adoption of the agricultural agreement by the Foreign Affairs Committee by 44 votes to 17, much to the chagrin of the Polisario and its European supporters, including MEPs from the Greens, the left and the far-left like the Spanish Podemos party.

These MEPs even withdrew from the voting session on Monday (Dec.10), to protest what they called a “collision” of French MEP Patricia Lalonde with Morocco.

They criticize Lalonde for having concluded, in her capacity as rapporteur of the INTA, that the trade agreements with Morocco benefit the people of Western Sahara. Her conclusions came in a report published at the end of a mission by members of the INTA to the Sahara cities of Laayoune and Dakhla last September 3- 4.

Podemos, which does not hide its hostility to Morocco and to Moroccan interests, sent to the President of the European Parliament a letter dated December 7 asking him to withdraw from Patricia Lalonde the responsibility to draft the mission report. The letter argued that Mrs Lalonde did not inform the EP that she is member of the board of directors of a foundation close to Morocco.

To clear away any ambiguity, Mrs Lalonde submitted her resignation a few hours before the vote on December 10.

Despite this incident, a majority of the INTA members voted in favor of the Morocco-EU agricultural agreement.

The INTA decisive vote is the final step at the level of the European Parliament’s specialized committees.

The recommendation for consent has now been submitted to the EP Plenary, which is expected to take place next January.

And if the Plenary endorses the Trade Committee recommendation, the Council will conclude the agreement, which will then enter into force.

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