European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi has said that the EU is ready to strengthen its cooperation with Morocco after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European representative made the comments in a videoconference meeting with a number of senior Moroccan officials. Hosted on Friday by Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the conference focused on the EU’s development plan for its Southern Neighborhood.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun, Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi, and Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy all spoke with Varhelyi about means of upgrading the wide-ranging partnership between Rabat and Brussels after the pandemic.
During the meeting, the Moroccan officials also presented the different aspects of Morocco’s economic recovery strategy.
Discussions aimed to determine ways to synergize Morocco and the EU’s recovery strategies through new agreements.
The Moroccan ministers presented concrete partnership proposals aiming to consolidate Morocco’s position as an essential partner for the EU. The proposals covered a wide range of fields, including finance, agriculture, industry, education, digitization, energy, and sustainable development.
The meeting allowed the officials to determine similarities between the Moroccan and the European post-pandemic strategies. It also allowed the Moroccan party to share its view on how Morocco could best contribute to the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy.
Commenting on the meeting’s conclusions, Varhelyi said the “fruitful” discussion gave the EU a better understanding of how it can assist Morocco in relaunching, diversifying, and strengthening its economy.
Friday’s meeting falls within the framework of the strategic partnership uniting Morocco and the EU. The partnership received a strong impetus thanks to the adoption of a Joint Political Declaration on June 27, 2019.
The declaration, signed at the end of the 14th meeting of the Morocco-EU Association Council in Brussels, aimed to give “new impetus to [the Morocco-EU] strategic, multidimensional, and privileged relationship.
The document focused on two main venues for cooperation: Environment and the fight against climate change, and mobility and migration.