The authors of the report said that the EU’s funding aims to prioritizing sectors as a way to support the country’s reforms. The results, however, did not serve the goal the right way.
The Court’s report showed limited results in supporting the country’s reforms, especially in its key sectors
The Court criticized the European Commission for the funding allocation, saying that the grants were spread across “too many areas, which may have weakened its impact.”
The report explained that the management of the development programs was“hampered by weaknesses in the way they were designed, implemented and monitored.”
The report also recalled that the EU is Morocco’s biggest “donor of development aid.”
According to the document, the commission planned projects estimated at €1.4 billion of aid, designed to impact three priority fields: Social services, rule of law, and sustainable growth.
“By the end of 2018, it had concluded contracts for €562 million and made payments of almost €206 million under its budget support instrument, which is aimed at promoting reforms and sustainable development goals and makes up 75 % of EU annual spending for the country,” the Court said.
The auditors evaluated whether the funding support from 2014 to 2108 was effective in impacting the development of the three sectors.
“EU budget support for Morocco did not provide sufficient support for the country’s reforms and progress on key challenges was limited,” said Hannu Takkula, the ECA Member responsible for the report.
The report also called on the EU Commission to focus on fewer sectors, as well as to strengthen the “political and policy dialogue with Morocco.”
The auditors specified that the sectors defined by the Commission consisted of 13 sub-sectors, “many of which could be considered as stand-alone sectors.”
The Court, therefore, warned that “such a broad definition of eligible areas covering a large number of sectors reduces the potential impact of EU support.”
The EU is one Morocco’s key partners, with cooperation in different fields, including education and migratory issues.
The EU has given Morocco significant financial assistance to tackle migratory issues due to the increase of irregular migration.