Morocco’s security services managed to thwart 74,000 irregular migration attempts to Spain last year.
Rabat – The European Parliament (EP) emphasized the need to acknowledge Morocco’s efforts to curb irregular migration.
During a debate of the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, EU officials discussed the flow of undocumented migrants into Europe, particularly those who travel via Spain.
Deputy Chairman of the parliamentary committee Emil Radev said that the EU should “recognize the major efforts made by Morocco in managing migration flows.”
The EU official, who chaired Thursday’s meeting, recalled Morocco’s role in thwarting 74,000 irregular migration crossings to Spain in 2019.
The operations constitute a “reduction of flows by 70% at the crossing points,” he said.
Radev emphasized that Morocco saved 19,500 people at sea in the same year.
The EU Parliament is satisfied with Morocco-EU cooperation in the field of migration.
Davina Wood, Head of the International Unit at the Migration and Home Affairs Directorate of the European Commission described Morocco as an important partner in the field of migration in the context of “ a global partnership whose terms were reiterated at the last Association Council.”
The EU has supported Morocco’s migration policy through a range of projects totalling a budget of €342 million. The grant “covers, in particular, the promotion of the protection of migrants, including access to legal aid, strengthening of migration policy at local and central level and promotion of the South-South dialogue in migration.”
Despite the multiple EU grants to Morocco, the government still believes that the funds are not enough to cope up with the increasing pressure of the global issue.
Director of immigration and border surveillance at the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior, Khalid Zerouali, emphasized the need for more grants from the EU in a recent interview with the AFP.
Zerouali argued that the funds are a good start, but warned that the North African country spends more than it receives.
He emphasized that the EU vowed to continue to support and ensure a mutually beneficial partnership with Morocco.
Morocco’s security personnel have carried out thousands of operations to rescue migrants and dismantle networks trafficking humans.
The operations are “mainly targeting networks that trafficking migrants. He described them as networks that exploit the “vulnerability of these migrants,” Zerouali said.
“They [human trafficking networks] exploit them [migrants] and always ask for money from their families,” he said.