EU denies any investment funding in occupied Western Sahara

APS - 30 March 2021

BRUSSELS- The European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, said that the European Union does not fund the European companies operating in occupied areas of Western Sahara, and support United Nations efforts to resolve the conflict peacefully.

"The European Neighborhood Mechanism does not provide funding to companies based in Europe or their subsidiaries, nor does it fund any operation in Western Sahara territories," Vahelyi said as he answered of European parliamentarian, Sandra Barbara.

Barbara cited the report published by the "Center for Franco-Sahrawi Studies and Documentation, Ahmed Baba Miske" in late 2020, revealing that the regulation of European companies operating in occupied areas of Western Sahara was in violation of international and European law.

In this regard, the Commissioner, who answered the question on behalf of the Commission of the European Union, affirmed that the latter "is aware" of the published report, but denied that any of these companies received EU funding.

On the other hand, the European official stressed that the EU supports "the United Nations efforts to find a peaceful solution to settle Western Sahara conflict, in line with the latest decisions issued by the UN and the Security Council in accordance with UN standards."

He added that the EU "looks forward to the relaunch of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations and looks forward to the urgent appointment of a new personal envoy of the Secretary General to Western Sahara".

The Center for Franco-Sahrawi Studies and Documentation denounced the agreements signed by the European Union with Morocco, which illegally includes the territory of Western Sahara, adding that these agreements violate the European Court rulings and also encourage European companies to pursue investment in the occupied Sahrawi territories.