Rabat – Morocco and the European Union’s bilateral relations and communications will undergo a drastic change in 2021, said Claudia Wiedey, Ambassador of the European Union to Morocco.
During a February 24 press conference held at Wiedey’s residence in Rabat, the ambassador outlined the new direction for the Morocco-EU partnership as part of the EU’s 2020-2027 “Southern Neighbourhood” action plan.
Noting the EU’s mobilization of €466 million (MAD 5 billion) in aid for Morocco’s COVID-19 response, the ambassador acknowledged that “2020 has been a remarkable year, in which we have worked together in an exceptional and efficient manner, and we are happy and proud of the result we have achieved.”
Similarly, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa contributed €10 million (MAD 109 million) to Morocco, as part of a regional accelerated emergency response program to limit the spread of the pandemic in North Africa.
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The EU ambassador presented the COVID-19 crisis as a historic opportunity to reinforce the partnership between Morocco and Europe, particularly within the framework of the “Southern Neighbourhood” plan.
“We are approaching 2021 together with the common ambition of renewal,” Wiedey said. According to the ambassador, the EU action plan, within the context of the “Southern Neighbourhood” plan, set the foundations “for a new agenda for the Mediterranean.”
Wiedey explained that the EU consulted Morocco before publishing the action plan, proposing several different orientations. This comes at a time when countries such as Morocco have called for higher levels of transparency and communication.
“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, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita recently said.
Ambassador Wiedy also noted Morocco’s status as a pioneer in renewable energies, calling the North African country a “first-rate” partner of the EU within the framework of a green economy.