Cooperation on matters of migration and security is only one aspect of the Morocco-EU partnership.
Rabat – Morocco has been a reliable and responsible partner to the European Union (EU), including in the cooperation against irregular migration, says Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
During a recent interview with the Parliament Magazine, Bourita said Morocco’s partnership with the EU goes beyond cooperation against irregular migration.
In his interview with the European outlet, Bourita said that collaboration on migration and security policy is only one aspect of the many dimensions of the EU-Morocco relationship.
He said that the world is now facing “hybrid threats in addition to traditional threats.”
Morocco has long been both a transit point and a destination for migrants. Thousands of sub-Saharan migrants and from other origins travel to Morocco to either stay or look for means to move to Europe.
Morocco’s government strengthened its approach to addressing irregular migration based on a humanitarian approach, seeking to help migrants and fight human trafficking networks.
Pending official data for 2020, Morocco managed to abort 74,000 irregular migration attempts in 2019.
Morocco is a country of origin, transit, and destination for migrants given its position along one of the main Mediterranean migratory routes, inspiring Rabat to develop a constructive dialogue seeking to demystify migration, Bourita said.
He added that out of “100 international migrants in the world, less than one is an irregular African migrant.”
The official said Morocco is convinced that migration is a powerful lever for development when it is “safe, orderly, and regular” in accordance with the 2018 Marrakech Pact on migration.
Returning to EU-Morocco cooperation, Bourita said the two partners are fortunate to be geographically close.
“We are fortunate to have similar economic models and standards,” he continued. “The pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerabilities of complex supply chains and the need for Europe to diversify its suppliers.”
The foreign minister emphasized that Morocco has competitive advantages in this regard, stressing the importance of the North African country’s stability, geographical location, and logistics.
“We must change our perceptions and evolve our way of thinking, which only focuses on lending and development, to work together for a new model of cooperation that will strengthen our mutual resilience and create an economic space of shared prosperity,” Bourita said.
The European Union continues to reap the benefits of close cooperation with Morocco in various fields in addition to migration.
Spain is among the members of the EU who routinely advocates for strengthening European relations with Morocco.
Morocco also works with France, Italy, and other countries as part of the shared responsibility approach against human trafficking.