Written questions by Erik Meijer (Socialist Party, NL - Group European United Left / Nordic Green Left)

to European Commission on Morocco exposition and pressure of Moroccan government - 27 January 2005

1. Is the Commission aware of the fact that the exposition 'Morocco 5000 years of culture', that is being held from 16 December 2004 during four month in the 'New Church' of Amsterdam, initially included a map on which the border between Morocco and the former Spanish colony Western Sahara (Rio de Oro and Seguia el Hamra), since end 1975 largely occupied by Morocco, was shown by means of a dotted line, but that this border line under pressure of the Moroccan government has been removed from the map, amongst other ways by putting a sticker on the maps in the exposition catalogue, so as to give the impression to the visitors that the territory belongs to Morocco?

2. Is the Commission aware of the fact that in the texts of the exposition and the catalogue is written that "the national unity has been restored" and that neigbouring country Algeria "has supported the mercenaries of Polisario", while among the artefacts exposed are objects from occupied territory, mainly originating from the museum of El Aiun?

3. Is the Commission of aware of other situations whereby Moroccan authorities try to enforce the showing, during events in the EU member states, of continuing Moroccan authority over the occupied territory, with the objective of breaking the opposition against it and to derive from these 'succes' stories arguments for continuation of the occupation? How has the Commission reacted upon such situations?

4. Do you agree that the fact that Western Sahara is included in the UN list of non-self-governing territories still to be decolonised and that the EU does not recognize the Spanish [error: must be Moroccan] sovereignty over Western Sahara and the adjacent territorial waters, could be effectively supported by a common effort of the EU member states and its institutions, by not giving in to the predictable pressure exercised by the Moroccan government trying to obtain resilience in the promotion of the Moroccan vision?

5. Are you prepared to advise EU member states not to grant government subsidies to institutions that succumb to the Moroccan pressure, but instead pr-actively promote that awareness is raised among enterprises and institutions on the true status of Western Sahara?

6. What are your suggestions for measures, especially on the field of information to all concerned, that can prevent that in other EU member states is repeated what has happened in The Netherlands?

(non-official translation from the original - Dutch - by L. den Haan)

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