The government of the autonomous community of Andalusia says it is “very concerned” about the decision of the European Union (EU) Court of First Instance regarding the agricultural and fisheries agreements with Morocco.
The decision of the European court “is a source of great concern for us,” stressed the president of the Andalusian regional executive, Juan Manuel Moreno, in statements to the press.
“A large number of our fishermen fish in Morocco” and “in Andalusia everything related to the agreements between the European Union and Morocco affects us directly and profoundly,” the Spanish regional official noted.
Moreno said he hoped “that the interests of Andalusia in the field of fisheries will be taken into account in all the decisions adopted by the Spanish government within the European Union.”
“I believe that our fishermen cannot be abandoned (…) and I, therefore, ask the Spanish authorities to look after the interests of our fishing fleet in Morocco,” he pleaded.
Spain has defended the continuity of the fisheries agreement between Morocco and the European Union, stressing the vital importance of this agreement for Spanish fishers.
“We want the agreement to continue (…) within the framework of the relations of cooperation and friendship that we have with Morocco,” stressed the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, on Wednesday.
Morocco is a “strategic partner,” and an “important fishing area” for the European and Spanish fleets since 93 of the 132 vessels fishing in its waters are Spanish, Planas insisted.
On Wednesday, the Court of the European Union delivered its judgment in the first instance concerning the appeal for annulment of the decisions of the European Council on the agricultural and fisheries agreements with Morocco.
The European court decided to annul these decisions “while maintaining their effects for a certain period to preserve the European Union’s external action and the legal security of its international commitments,” reads the court’s press release reporting on the ruling.