Morocco’s relations with the European Union have never been so close, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, on Thursday in Rabat.
“The year 2023 will be that of a stronger commitment and ambitions” for the deepening of the relations of cooperation between the two parties in the various fields, underlined Mr. Bourita during a joint press briefing with the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, after their talks.
He noted that “over the past three years we have seen a change in the neighborhood policy towards the southern Mediterranean, with now a greater willingness to listen, a deeper dialogue and a desire of the countries of the southern Mediterranean to take ownership of the projects we are developing”.
This partnership, he argued, has also deepened at the regional level through pilot projects implemented under this new approach.
Mr. Bourita also underlined that the partnership between Morocco and the EU recorded “tangible positive results in 2020 during the Covid crisis”, welcoming the support of the approach initiated by HM the King Mohammed VI to deal with the pandemic and its economic and social consequences.
He expressed the hope that 2023 will be a year of stronger commitment and ambitions, through the implementation of the “financial partnership” agreements signed and the opening of new horizons of cooperation in the fields of security. and migration, which will be further strengthened from this year.
Mr. Bourita also expressed the wish that the year 2023 see the launch of the cooperation program in the field of research and education “Horizon”, which constitutes a major element in the field of training and exchanges between universities, as well as openness to other projects in the field of energy security that concern Morocco and the EU.
The minister also stressed the need to develop tripartite regional cooperation between Morocco, the European Commission and Israel, as a “complementary element to bilateral cooperation, which will encompass several areas through coordination between the three parties. “.
In this regard, he continued, “we have prepared a document that we will sign before the end of this month to consolidate the tripartite regional dimension in our relations as well, in areas of common interest”.
Mr. Bourita expressed the hope that this year will also be the year of stronger ambitions in new areas, the establishment of new means of cooperation and developed financing mechanisms and the acceleration of the implementation of strategic projects, adding that Morocco, under the leadership of HM the King, is surely moving forward on the path of implementing its new development model in order to satisfy the aspirations of its citizens.
The reforms undertaken by the Kingdom, under the leadership of HM the King, have enabled it to get off the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), welcomed the minister, inviting the EU to interact quickly with this news by removing Morocco from the Union’s gray list. The visit to Morocco by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement is the second of its kind in less than a year, “which confirms the depth, strength and solidity of relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Commission”, he argued, recalling the last visit to Rabat of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, who registered in the same dynamic.
The Minister expressed the hope that this positive state of mind and this pragmatic approach characterizing the relations between Morocco and the European Commission will become part of the long term, to ensure that the partnership transcends mere rhetoric to take a concrete dimension, thus contributing to the strengthening of ties between Morocco and the EU within the framework of the good neighborhood policy.
LNT with MAP