The strong strategic partnership between Morocco and the European Union continues to be marked by trust, mutual interest and shared values.
The long-standing and unique relations between Rabat and Brussels continue to develop and confirm Morocco’s status as a reference in the European Union's neighbourhood policy. The partnership's dynamism continues to gain strength.
This partnership, which is in line with the will of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, maintains its preferential character. It explores new paths, including enhancing industrial and economic flexibility, developing the conditions for new industrial value chains, fostering common ambition in the field of climate, strengthening the partnership and opening doors to different areas of cooperation.
The European Union responsible affirmed on various occasions that Morocco and the European Union are strategic partners in the service of stability, development and prosperity in the region of North Africa.
European Union: Morocco is the stability pillar in the region
The quality of this partnership between Morocco and the European bloc was confirmed during a working visit by Oliver Farrelly, the European Commissioner in charge of Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy, to Morocco. Last July, he reaffirmed the Kingdom’s position in relation to the European Union as “an important country and a pillar of stability in the region.
This will be translated into action through the signing by Morocco and the European Union during this occasion of five cooperation programs with a total of 5.5 billion dirhams (about 500 million euros) to support major reform projects in the Kingdom, including the strengthening of social protection, managing migration, promoting financial inclusion, green transition, and public administration reform.
It is Oliver Farrelly's second visit in less than a year. His visit has come to implement the joint political declaration adopted in June 2019, which established the “Euro-Moroccan Partnership for Common Prosperity,” around four structural areas, namely the “space for economic convergence and social cohesion,” “space for shared knowledge,” “space of convergence of values.” and “space for more political consultation and increased cooperation in the field of security,” in addition to the two major horizontal axes of cooperation in the field environment and combating climate change, and mobility and migration.
Morocco removed from EU grey list of money laundering
The development of relations between the two partners and the ongoing exchanges resulted in the removal of Morocco from the European Union’s grey list of countries subject to monitoring of terrorist financing and money laundering. This decision took into account the information received from the Financial Action Task Force, which recognizes the efforts of Morocco, which implemented an action plan agreed upon with the Financial Action Task Force.
The FATF noted the development made by the Kingdom of Morocco in improving its financial system, taking into account the works done by the kingdom in the field of the necessary legal and regulatory frameworks to fulfil its obligations.
The Kingdom of Morocco has strengthened its system effectiveness, in order to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and it has worked to correct the technical deficiencies so as to honour the commitment made in its action plan to remedy the strategic deficiencies identified by the FATF. The Commission's assessment of the available information concludes that Morocco no longer presents strategic deficiencies in its system and should therefore be removed from the grey list.
The FATF welcomed the notable progress made by Morocco in putting the necessary legal and regulatory frameworks to honour its commitments and put them into action.
Morocco and EU cultural, migration and green partnerships
This year, the multifaceted partnership between Rabat and Brussels witnessed a strong boost in two equally important areas: culture and youth. An agreement was signed in Essaouira related to the European Union support program for Moroccan cultural and creative industries, which is the first of its kind within the framework of the partnership between Morocco and the European Union.
Subsequently, an institutional twinning program was launched in Rabat that aims to “support the strengthening of governance and the implementation of innovative initiatives for the integration of youth in Morocco.” Morocco also became the first country to conclude a green partnership with Brussels, an initiative that represents recognition by the European Union of the “leading role” played by Morocco in the field of climate adaptation and energy transition.
In another area where the Moroccan-European partnership has always remained solid, namely the partnership regarding migration, Rabat and Brussels were able to reach a new level. Thus, Morocco and the European Commission launched a renewed partnership in the field of migration and combating human trafficking networks.
By committing to this new approach, the Kingdom has proven, once again, that it is the reliable, committed and responsible partner it has always been. If it has become a strategic and essential actor for Europe, this is due in particular to its humanitarian, integrated and solidarity-based management of the migration issue.
Morocco and the EU exchange official visits
The various programs launched and visits made by both sides were, in fact, part of the regular contacts carried out by the two sides. These contacts were reflected during the visit of Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to Morocco in January 2023, as well as previous visits by six other members of the EU College of Commissioners for 2022 alone, including the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
From Rabat, the Head of the European Executive Authority reiterated the European Union's desire to continue deepening the existing "strategic, close and solid" partnership with Morocco, the European Union's first economic and trade partner on the African continent.