The historic partnership between the European Union (EU) and the Kingdom of Morocco, underpinned by a number of political and economic agreements, has given Morocco a new momentum for its modernisation and democratic transition process.
With the signing of an association agreement in 1996, coming into force in 2000, the cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the EU has expanded to include politics and security. This Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement aims to provide an appropriate framework for political dialogue between the EU and its partners in the Mediterranean Basin. The principle behind this is to work for the development of this region in a climate of peace, security and stability, in accordance with democratic principles and fundamental rights.
This Euro-Mediterranean partnership has three main components:
- politics and security
- economics and financial affairs
- social and human affairs.
European Neighbourhood Policy
Cooperation between the EU and Morocco was further strengthened by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) launched by the EU in 2003, based on mutual responsibility and shared commitment to the universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Within this framework, an action plan has been implemented in all areas of cooperation. The ENP has given more permanence and structure to the dialogue between the EU and Morocco. Technical committees of experts from the European institutions and the Moroccan authorities meet regularly, focusing on subjects such as stronger political dialogue, justice and security, and human rights.
The Consolidation of Bilateral Relations
Morocco has benefited from an advanced status with the EU since 2008. Its objectives are:
- to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in the areas of politics and security;
- to progressively integrate Morocco into the EU internal market through legislative and regulatory convergence;
- to extend the partnership to include new participants.
The European Parliament has played a stronger role in the partnership with Morocco since the Lisbon Treaty. This has stimulated parliamentary exchange, in particular with the EU-Morocco Joint Parliamentary Committee. The European Economic and Social Committee has also signed a partnership agreement with the Moroccan Economic and Social Council. There has been an increased exchange with, and support for, Moroccan civil society.