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EU opens up more to Morocco agriculture, fisheries

Source : | 16 February 2012 |  Economy, News, Politics, World | 1812 views

European Parliament gives consent to liberalise EU-Morocco trade in agricultural, fisheries products despite French rapporteur’s hostile campaign.

 

The European Parliament adopted on Thursday the agreement to liberalise Morocco-EU trade in agricultural and fisheries products.

The members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted 369 in favour, 225 against and 31 abstentions despite a hostile campaign led by French rapporteur José Bové and Spanish MEPs.

The deal enables an increase in some quotas for zero or low duty imports and represents a step towards a more extensive free trade agreement.

The agreement provides for the immediate lifting of 55% of tariffs on Morocco agricultural and fisheries products (rising from 33%) and 70% of tariffs on EU agricultural and fisheries products within 10 years (rising from 1%).

The trade deal is intended to boost EU-Morocco ties and support the transition to democracy following the Arab Spring. A majority of MEPs say the agreement will help alleviate economic, migratory and security problems.

The agreement includes safeguards, for example by allowing only moderate increases to quotas of certain products, such as tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and garlic. It also provides for seasonal quotas to counter distortion of the EU market and says Moroccan imports should meet European sanitary standards.

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