Rabat – Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said that recent developments in the Morocco-EU partnership should convince Brussels to abandon its superiority complex and open itself to a new kind of relationship with Rabat.
Speaking to Agence Europe, Bourita urged the EU to break with the teacher-pupil mentality with which it approaches its relationship with its southern neighbors, including Morocco. Rather than agenda imposition, multilateral dialogue and consultation should be the basis of the partnership between the EU and its partners, Bourita commented.
Following the EU’s decision to remove Morocco from its “gray list” of non-cooperative third countries in regards to taxation, Bourita underlined the need for dialogue in the management of sensitive issues.
“if the southern neighborhood is important, it should not suffer the consequences of decisions taken by the EU,” he explained.
Bourita underscored the need for a kind of considerate dialogue that values what every partner brings to the table. The EU’s southern neighbors “must be involved, not in the decision, but at least in the reflection” about major policy decisions affecting the Meditarrenean basin, said Morocco’s top diplomat.
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“Morocco has asked the EU to move away from this teacher-pupil logic and to enter into a logic of consultation” that would be mutually beneficial for both parties, he added.
Bourita suggested that the EU adopt a similar approach to the increasingly sensitive topic of irregular migration.
“Any approach that seeks to find the culprits rather than the solutions is a bad method,” Bourita explained. Migration is a “natural phenomenon between the two shores,” he argued, suggesting that the EU should renounce its usual scapegoating reflex to instead work with its non-European partners to find shared solutions to shared challenges.
“Morocco shoulders its responsibilities, but will never be a policeman because it is neither its vocation, nor its conviction,” Bourita explained.
Morocco’s coordination with Spain, in particular, is an example of the North African country’s commitment to finding a solution to the migration crisis. Bourita recalled Morocco’s operations to combat trafficking networks even beyond the Mediterranean shore.
He lauded European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi’s efforts to consult the concerned countries before officializing the EU’s migration decisions, saying that Morocco used to “discover [these decisions] from the media.”