Judgment of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) of 10 December 2015. Front populaire pour la libération de la saguia-el-hamra et du rio de oro (Front Polisario) v Council of the European Union. Case T-512/12.
“The Council Decision 2012/497 of 8 March 2012 on the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products, the replacement of Protocols 1, 2 and 3 and their Annexes and amendments to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part, is annulled insofar as it permits the implementation of the agreement in Western Sahara.”
This decision marks an important step in the global efforts aimed at ensuring that the natural resources of Western Sahara, as non-self-governing territory, are protected for the benefit of its own people. In this respect, the AU has repeatedly called on all concerned to halt the exploration and the exploitation of Western Sahara’s resources and desist from entering into any agreements that would violate the Sahrawi people’s permanent sovereignty over their natural resources. In his 10 April 2014 report concerning the situation in Western Sahara, and in the light of increased interest in these resources, the UN Secretary-General stressed that it was timely to call upon all relevant actors to “recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount”, in accordance with Chapter XI, Article 73 of the Charter.