Not satisfied with the existing EU-Morocco cooperation on migration, Morocco is demanding more compensation for its efforts.
Rabat – Morocco has given Spain a list of demands in exchange for Morocco’s efforts in curbing the flow of irregular migration to Europe.
Spain, which is often the first entry point of irregular migrants to Europe, is demanding that Morocco double its border control. In return for its cooperation, Morocco is requesting more compensation from Spain and the European Union, according to Spanish outlet El Pais.
Morocco handed Spanish authorities “a list of demands in exchange for intensifying border control,” El Pais reported.
Morocco is a regular EU partner, having struck a number of agreements in the important sectors of agriculture, fisheries, and security.
On the migration front, the North African country was the most-used route by migrants seeking to reach the European Union in 2018. Recently, Brussels pledged a €140 million fund to help Morocco curb the ongoing flow of irregular migration to Europe.
But Morocco has still not received the funds that Europe promised.
Key among Morocco’s demands of Spain is that delivery of the promised funds be accelerated, as well as a new cooperation on education and training of Moroccan nationals.
El Pais explained: “In addition to the 140 million euros the EU has promised Morocco, the Maghreb country is demanding aid to train workers in key sectors such as tourism and health.”
As for Moroccan university students, Rabat is reportedly pushing for an Erasmus-like program between Spain and Morocco, giving Moroccan students a one-year abroad experience at Spanish universities. For students who have already completed their undergraduate studies in Morocco, the program would allow for postgraduate experience at Spanish institutions.
Spain ready to agree if EU pays
Between July and August 2018, Morocco launched an unprecedented campaign to harden its migration policy, making it harder for migrants to cross to neighboring Spain.
While the unprecedented crackdown decreased the number of successful irregular attempts, the number of migrants arriving in Spain is still significant, according to Spanish authorities.
Spanish officials at the Ministry of Labor and Migration are supportive of Morocco’s demands, saying that Morocco’s cooperation is a key factor in the success of Europe’s and Spain’s migration policy.
“You have to invest in this type of initiative; the EU has to get involved,” the newspaper quoted the officials as saying.
As long as the EU provides the funds for the projects, Spain is ready to comply with Morocco’s demands, Spanish sources argued.
While advocating in December for more EU support to secure Morocco’s cooperation, Consuelo Rumi, Spain’s state secretary for migration, said: “It is about Morocco having no excuse for not collaborating.”