Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants gather at the border of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, 19 May 2021 | Photo: Jalal Morchidi / EPA
Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants gather at the border of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, 19 May 2021 | Photo: Jalal Morchidi / EPA

The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution in which it rejected "Morocco's use of border control and migration, and unaccompanied minors in particular, as political pressure against a member state of the EU [namely Spain]."

The European Parliament adopted the resolution on June 10; noting that the migrant crisis last month was "triggered by Morocco due to a political and diplomatic crisis" between the North African country and Spain.

The Parliament said it "rejects Morocco's use of border control and migration, and unaccompanied minors in particular," as a way of putting "political pressure [on] a Member State of the EU, [namely Spain]." The resolution was approved by the EU chamber with 397 votes in favor, 85 against and 196 abstentions.

The resolution went on to deplore "in particular, the participation of children, unaccompanied minors and families in the mass crossing of the border from Morocco to the Spanish city of Ceuta, putting their lives and safety at clear risk," according to a statement.

The European Parliament urged Morocco to stop using unaccompanied minors to put pressure on Spain.

'Crisis triggered by Morocco'

On May 17, 2021, the resolution stated, there was "an unprecedented surge of crossings to the Spanish territory [...] with around 9,000 people entering, swimming or walking into the Spanish autonomous city of Ceuta, after the Moroccan police temporarily ended border controls, opened the gates of their border fence and did not take action to stop illegal entrance."

The resolution added that it was the "humanitarian response by the Spanish security and armed forces, NGOs and the citizens of Ceuta [that] prevented the occurrence of a genuine tragedy."

The resolution said that the whole crisis was triggered by Morocco due to diplomatic tension between the North African country and Spain. It said that it was not connected to migration but rather caused by Spain's decision to welcome and hospitalize Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front (Sahrawi People's Liberation Army).

The resolution urged Spain and Morocco to work in close connection to allow for the "repatriation of Moroccan children to their families,"

It noted this repatriation "must be guided by the best interest of the child and carried out in compliance with national and international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child."

 

More articles