Rabat - Lahcen Daoudi has said that it is in Europe’s best interests to maintain good relationships with the non-European world.
Daoudi, a senior figure in Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD), made his remarks on Monday at the third EU-Arab World summit in Athens, Greece.
The Greek government launched the summit in 2016 to provide “the necessary platforms of cooperation for a more efficient future.”
Speaking to journalists at the Athens summit, Daoudi drew attention to the cultural and historical ties between Europe and the Arab world.
As a bridging country between Europe and the Arab world, Morocco has repeatedly proven an invaluable partner for the EU, the PJD official argued. Explaining that strategic alliance with Rabat is vital for Europe, he added, “Europe is lucky to have Morocco as neighbor.”
While European leaders search for ways to limit the wave of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East to European countries, the Moroccan official suggested that Europe change its perception of the non-Western world.
Global solutions to global crises
Rather than singly focusing on how threatening and chaotic the outside world can be to so-called European norms and values, European leaders and citizens should shift their focus from security to common values and crises with the non-European world.
“The Mediterranean sea should unite us,” he said, adding that Europe cannot on its own meet the ever-growing challenges of contemporary life. Be it on climate change, intercontinental mobility, or the fight against global terrorism, “We need to act together for global peace and stability,” Daoudi noted.
The Moroccan’s ideas chimed with the guiding principles of the summit he was attending. Themed “Shared Horizons,” the annual EU-Arab World summit prides itself as a venue for academics, media personalities, and policy makers to devise ways of living in harmony.
Described as “a unique bridge of communication between two rapidly changing worlds,” the summit discussed topics as wide-ranging as cultural cooperation between Europe and the Arab world, cooperative architecture to face transnational terrorism, and an array of other global crises.
When dealing with geopolitical challenges in this globalized and interconnected world, the Moroccan official argued, Europe should opt for an intercultural perspective that fosters genuine dialogue, rather than flaunting its cultural exceptionalism.
More than an interest-focused choice, “Relations between Europe and the Arab world constitute a necessity of our times,” he said. “We need to face common problems together.” Both Europe and the Arab world face a new political landscape of crises and geopolitical perturbations, and “it is now imperative to cooperate.”