With this advanced status, Morocco will benefit from more funds
The European Union has approved, during the seventh meeting of the EU-Morocco Association Council today, a package of measures designed to give Morocco an advanced status and to strengthen the partnership with it. “These measures concern in particular cooperation in political and security matters, the preparation of a comprehensive and deeper free trade agreement, the gradual integration of Morocco into a number of EU sectoral policies, and the development of people-to-people exchanges, » said a press repease of the Council.
Stressing that this initiative is a first, Quai d’Orsay’s spokesman, Frédéric Desagneaux, underlined that Morocco is today the neighbour country with which the EU has the closest and tightest relations.
“It is also the country that has made lots of efforts, mainly in terms of economic, human rights and governance reforms,” he added.
With this advanced status, Morocco will benefit from more funds and will have a status slightly above that of the Neighbourhood Policy’s members.
The agreement will result in the reinforcement of political cooperation, through strengthening dialogue channels between both parties’ legislative institution, in order to bring Morocco’s legislation closer to that of the EU.
Besides a gradual integration of the Moroccan economy in the EU interior market, this advanced status involves more complex domains such as some strategic issues, collective security, energy, terrorism, migration and governance.
The agreement also includes international security whereby Morocco will be able to participate systematically in the EU’s peace keeping operation, without having to negotiate the terms of each operation.
It will also be easy for Morocco to participate in some EU agencies and programmes, such as the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Macro Polo Programme, etc.
“The signing of this agreement between Morocco and the European Union is a big day. It will open for Morocco the door of Europe’s large policies,” Spanish foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told MAP news agency.
The relationship between Morocco and the European Union dates back to many years. Since 2000 Morocco and the EU have signed many bilateral agreements, mainly the association agreement, which was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 2000.
The two parties also signed an open-skies agreement, which is Europe’s first ever outside its borders. It came into force on summer 2006 to boost Morocco’s tourism industry.