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Brussels, 6 March 2012
Morocco: Moving forward to more dynamic relations
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle received a delegation of the Economic and Social Council of Morocco (CES) in Brussels today. With the president of the CES Chakib Benmoussa he discussed the current economic and social situation in Morocco and the reforms launched there in the wake of the Arab Spring. "Full implementation of political, economic and social reforms is essential since this is the way to respond to the demands and aspirations of the Moroccan people," Commissioner Füle said at the meeting recalling the support that the EU is ready to provide for the reform efforts in the context of the “Advanced Status” of EU-Morocco relations. Commissioner Füle also noted that the positive vote of the European Parliament on the EU-Morocco Agricultural Agreement in February was an important step which paved the way for further dynamics in bilateral relations. "This agreement not only proves the credibility of our policy more for more but is also important since it will support increased trade and create job opportunities," he stated. Commissioner Füle and President Benmoussa noted also the scope for common work on issues raised during the debate leading to the adoption of the agreement, such as improving working conditions for agricultural workers, reducing child labour or providing adequate social security coverage. Commissioner Füle stressed the importance of the CES in Morocco's own reform process as a key institution reaching out to civil society organisations, trade unions and businesses and advising independently the authorities on reforms. He also expressed his wish to study how the Commission could support the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the CES and also the desire to associate the CES to the regular dialogue on bilateral relations, in particular the implementation of the bilateral action plan and the future priorities for bilateral cooperation.
The CES is a consultative body for economic and social affairs for the Moroccan government composed of 100 members from trade unions, employers’ organisations and other professional associations and associations of civil society.