Rabat – Morocco has officially become an “associated country” of the European Union’s (EU) “Horizon Europe,” a funding program for research and innovation within the framework of sustainable development.
“Horizon Europe” is part of the 2021-2027 EU’s program, and will have a total global budget of €95.5 billion (MAD 1 trillion). According to the European Commission, the fund will tackle climate change, help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as boost “EU’s competitiveness and growth.
What this means for Morocco is that now, Moroccan researchers will be able to apply for EU funding as part of the “Horizon Europe” program, particularly for health and research infrastructure projects.
The initiative is meant to facilitate collaboration, while also amplifying the impact of research and innovation, in line with EU policies for overcoming global challenges. It will also create jobs, boost economic growth, and optimize “investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area.”
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The partnership between Morocco and the EU is nothing new. Following Morocco’s notable efforts in sustainable development and administrative reforms, cooperation between the two parties has become increasingly commonplace. Morocco’s ascension to become an associated country comes as part of cooperation in the fight against climate change and in the field of migration.
In December 2020, Morocco welcomed two European Commissioners for discussions of the ongoing partnership between the two parties. The European commissioners discussed areas of common interest and explored new opportunities for cooperation with Morocco.
The European Commission referenced “the new momentum that has been given to the partnership between the European Union and Morocco, since the Association Council in June 2019.”
On June 27, 2019, representatives of the EU and Morocco met for the Association Council. They signed a joint declaration highlighting mutual interest in giving new momentum to their strategic relationship by developing a true “Euro-Moroccan partnership for shared prosperity.”