The two European commissioners visiting Rabat emphasized the importance of Morocco and the EU working together to address migration issues.
Rabat – The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said on Tuesday that the EU enjoys a “privileged partnership.
After meeting with the Moroccan Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit in Rabat, Johansson said she is happy to see Morocco-EU cooperation continue to improve in the fields of security and migration, expressing hope this momentum will carry over to other areas.
Describing Morocco as a “very reliable” partner for the EU, she said migration is an issue that Morocco and the EU must manage together within the framework of a “close and mutually beneficial partnership.”
She relayed the EU’s wish to maintain its “privileged partnership” with Morocco and further improve cooperation to address migration issues, learning from the Moroccan experience in the field.
Welcoming Morocco’s “enormous” efforts in the field, Johansson said it is important that the EU works closely with Morocco on migration issues and adopts a pragmatic and inclusive approach.
Varhelyi, after meeting on Tuesday with the Moroccan minister of foreign affairs, similarly emphasized Morocco’s status as a credible partner of the EU.
He also stressed the importance of the EU’s support for Morocco in managing migration issues, as the country faces an immense burden due to the surge in irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa.
Managing migration “is a common task that must be tackled together. Here, too, Morocco is in the lead, it is a credible and sensitive partner in this problem,” he said during a press conference.
The commissioners’ comments on Morocco-EU cooperation in migration follow those of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who called for more European support for Morocco.
Sanchez expressed last month at the G20 summit his concerns with the pressure that Morocco faces as a gateway between Africa and Europe.
Spain often advocates for increased European funds to help Morocco tackle irregular migration and works hand in hand with the country to address this issue, he said.
Morocco is an essential actor in North Africa due to its strategic position for migration, making strong security in the country vital for preventing irregular migratory flows to Europe.
The Moroccan Ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, recently said that the Spanish government has been able to block 60% of irregular migration arrivals in recent years thanks to cooperation with Morocco.