Policy and Information Workshop

Conclusions of the 45th EUCOCO

The workshop conducted its work on the basis of a preliminary statement of the actions taken during the past year and the objectives for 2022. The work focused mainly on actions to be carried out in the direction of international institutions, communication strategies and political organization.

The WG took note of the two key elements which should motivate our work for the coming year. On the one hand the war situation and on the other hand the decision of the CJEU and the appeal brought by the EU Council.

All the actions of the European solidarity movement will be carried out according to a precise timetable which will be used to relay all the information concerning these activities. 

The objectives of the workshop are:

1 – to work on awareness raising, organization and communication strategies;

2 – create the working groups resulting from this thematic workshop;

3 – write the final conclusions.

 

  1. Political organization: 
  • The TF must be a structure which represents solidarity with the Saharawi people in European countries.
  • In May 2022 there will be the European March in Brussels, which will be followed by a major conference in the European Parliament.
  • Given the success of the Forum UJSARIO last November, they decided to organize the3rd edition in another European country. 
  • We must organize the conference on the resistance of the peoples because it is an important event. The theme could be Moroccan expansionism. 
  • We need to create a structure at intergroup level like the Spanish one, which works well. It will therefore be necessary to create a similar European structure. 
  • We need to implement our advocacy activities within the European Parliament. The EP intergroup must be the focal point for broadening parliamentary action at continental, national and regional level.
  • We must develop relations with the countries of Eastern Europe, because currently the FP has no relation with these countries. 
  • The TF must deal with the subject of communication regularly because it is an important subject that we must develop. 
  • We are going to schedule a special meeting on this topic and on the material we need to use (film, video, social media, etc.). 
  • We must create a calendar of actions in 2022 to relay actions at European level. 
  • The Polisario Front must always be followed, especially before international and local courts. So it is the FP which defines the line to be followed. It is extremely important to act united because autonomous action will only be counterproductive.

2. International institutions

  • We must speed up the debate within the UN because it was unable to implement the peace plan and organize the referendum. 
  • We must relay the information concerning the Swedish government’s position on support for the Saharawi people. 
  • We must support and disseminate the judgments of the CJEU, considering that the court will rule only in 2023 after the Council appeal; 
  • We must increase the awareness of European countries on the context of the war in Western Sahara. 
  • We must continue to put pressure on the countries concerned by the Saharawi question, such as France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. 
  • We must work to obtain the recognition of the SADR by all the countries of the world.
  • We must work with the countries which support the Saharawi cause within the UN Security Council. 
  • Given the forthcoming appointment of the French government to the presidency of the European Council, the delegations of the countries present at EUCOCO can write to the French government in order to put pressure on the Saharawi question. To do this, each country can write to the local French embassies. 
  • We must work on the accreditation of representatives of the FP at the diplomatic level, because the UN and international tribunals already recognize the legal personality of the FP.

3 Communication

  • We must continue to ask known people, like Javier Bardem, to support the Sahrawi cause in order to give it a lot of media visibility. 
  • We must use the experience of French journalists around the Sahrawi question in order to create a working group that can work in this direction. 
  • We are going to organize a conference in France on the theme “how to communicate around SO in Europe”. 
  • We must create a Network of journalists who deal with the Sahrawi question in Europe.
  • Artistic projects must be organized in the camps in order to benefit from their strong media visibility. 
  • We must continue to organize civilian missions in the camps. 
  • Internal and external communication must be strengthened. We must counter the lies of Morocco by relaying information about the war, and denounce the Moroccan occupation. 
  • We have to find new forms of communication and new strategies. To do this, we need to mobilize more parliamentary networks.
  •  Several events must be organized, particularly political, artistic and sporting. 
  • We must use our experience to make these communicative actions more effective. 
  • We also need to broaden our field of action and have good coordination. 
  • In terms of supporting culture and the academic world, it will always be necessary to organize this kind of event to take advantage of their media power. 
  • You have to develop good online communication. It will be necessary to take full advantage of this space.
  •  It is necessary to manage the media at the political level and it will be necessary to develop a good communicative strategy in social networks, by offering training and cybersecurity kits for activists in order to improve communication. It will also be necessary to develop web pages like Wikipedia. 
  • We must identify communication professionals in solidarity movements in order to train us to improve communication. 
  • We must use the internet and we must disseminate information on Sahrawi women.

Composition of the working group resulting from the policy and communication workshop

– Presidents of the working group: Pierre Galand, Oubi Boucharaya Bachir and Dr Said Ayachi. 

– Politics: Régine Villemont, Carmelo Barrio, Carine Schili, Xavier Serra

– Communication: Camille Szklorz, Enrique Gomez and Elina Ponce

 


For many years now, European and Western governments and institutions in general have endeavored to hide or disguise both the causes and consequences of the conflict in Western Sahara, as well as their own responsibilities in it.

Undoubtedly, the low interest of the mainstream media, the pressure of economic interest groups and the ineffectiveness of social movements to pressure political power, have contributed to the political blockage of the issue, so that a layer of oblivion seems hovering over the obligations and responsibilities that correspond to the Spanish, European and international public powers to end the colonization of the last non-autonomous territory of Africa. 

Meanwhile, the unjust situation suffered by the Saharawi people continues to be without remedy both in the occupied territories due to the unbearable repression exerted by Morocco, and in the refugee population camps and in exile where they suffer harsh living conditions. The people and groups that participate in the Political Action and Communication working group of this 44th Conference want to jointly reflect on the most effective ways to demand that European governments and institutions and, first of all, the Spanish state, in its capacity as administering power, that they assume their responsibility explicitly to guarantee effective and concrete steps towards self-determination.

How can we influence the media so that they faithfully reflect what are the obligations, non-compliance and the real policies of the European governments and institutions with regard to Western Sahara?

How to involve the most active agents and social sectors in the claim for truth, justice and reparation for the Saharawi People?

How can we effectively influence political formations to force governments to act in accordance with international law regarding Western Sahara?

How to contribute from the whole of Europe so that the Spanish state recognizes its special responsibility and acts accordingly?

What social pressure and mobilization measures can be most effective in achieving our specific objectives?

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