“Morocco is not well treated in terms of the aid granted by the European Union—for the fight against illegal immigration,” Josep Borrell said Wednesday.
The Spanish minister addressed his statements to Spain’s joint parliamentary committee for the EU, Maghreb Arab Press reported today.
Borrell contrasted the support the EU has given Turkey, €6 billion, with Morocco, which has received only about €50 million.
In July, the EU approved a €55 million fund to assist Morocco and Tunisia to combat migration to Europe. The fund falls within the EU’s border management program and will provide resources for border guards in Morocco.
The Spanish minister indicated that Spain and the EU have committed an additional €100 million to assist Morocco, which he called Spain’s “preferential partner” in migration management.
For Borell, “Immigration is a challenge but also an opportunity.” He said immigration is a “European problem that [Europe] will not be able to solve if we do not count on Morocco’s help.”
Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said in August that the government aborted 65,000 undocumented migration attempts in 2017.
According to Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, law enforcement thwarted 2,000 networks and rescued 20,000 migrants from the sea before they reached Europe.
By July 30, more than 24,000 migrants entered Europe through the western Mediterranean route from Morocco in 2018. Since January, 6,000 undocumented Moroccan migrants have arrived in Spain.
Spain’s Ministry of Interior said earlier this year 38,000 migrants are believed to have entered Spain in 2018.
Borell stressed that the EU must save the immigration situation from going out of control because migratory pressure is increasing.
In July, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez supported Morocco by sending a letter to the European Union Commission, asking the body to provide Morocco with the resources it requested. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker responded that “Spain and Morocco can be assured of the full support of the EU Commission.”
Sanchez’s letter followed Morocco’s request of €60 million in resources for border management and migration control.