By David Jackson
A 2011 European Union (EU) trade agreement with Morocco that lifted import restrictions on foodstuffs has been partially overturned by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after local farmers contested the treaty.
Almería’s farming union COAG filed the complaint after realising that one of the areas of Morocco able to produce fruit and vegetables for EU consumption was the Western Sahara area. This area, abandoned by Spain in 1975 and claimed by the Kingdom of Morocco, is the site of a decade’s long war of independence waged by the Polisario Front.
The ECJ ruled last week that the trade agreement does not permit consumers to differentiate between produce from Morocco or the Western Sahara regions, contrary to EU law.
But the EU has yet to modify the trade agreement, and is preparing an appeal which will prevent the sentence being implemented.