Dans la perspective du prochain Conseil d’Association UE-Maroc le 14 décembre prochain, j’ai adressé la lettre suivante, avec d’autres députés européens, à la Haute Représentante de l’UE, Mme Federica Mogherini :
Ms Federica MOGHERINI
High representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy
Brussels, Thursday 10 December 2015
Madam High Representative,
On the 14th of December, you will meet with our Moroccan partners in the framework of the EU-Morocco Association Council.
The Association Council is an opportunity to address key political issues. As you know, the conflict over Western Sahara has slowed down the strengthening of the EU-Morocco relation and left the refugees of the Tindouf camps in poor humanitarian conditions for fourty years. The recent floods in Tindouf and the humanitarian crisis which followed have shown that the status quo is unacceptable for the people living in these camps.
The stalemate in this conflict is directly linked to the absence of census in the camps. No one knows how many people live in the Tindouf camps officially. The European Parliament pointed out this problematic situation on the 29th of April 2015 in the 2013 budgetary discharge of the European Commission. In this report, the majority of the Members of the European Parliament called on the Commission to help the organization of a census in the Tindouf camps in order to avoid the diverting of the EU humanitarian aid. Indeed, our humanitarian aid had been diverted for almost a decade in the Tindouf camps as described in a report of OLAF of 2007.
It is noteworthy to bear in mind that various smuggling activities in the Sahel region is the source of terrorist funding. Given today’s situation regarding terrorism, such activities so close from EU borders are even more unacceptable. In addition, in the Security Council resolution of 28 April 2015, the Security Council also mentioned that the absence of census was at the core of the status quo of the Western Sahara conflict.
For all these reasons, we ask you to include the necessity to organize a census in the camps of Tindouf in the next conclusions of the EU-Morocco Association Council. More than ever, Europe needs to be a strong international actor, especially in its close neighborhood. In doing so, the European Union could play a positive role in a conflict which has already lasted too long.