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Brussels, 23 April 2012

EU-Morocco: Preparing for the Action Plan on reforms

Remarks by Commissioner Füle at the press conference after the EU-Morocco Association Council in Luxembourg on 23rd April 2012

‘’Morocco and the EU share the objective of a deepening and strengthening their relations on the basis of the “advanced status”. Today we took note of the very good progress achieved in the discussions on a new comprehensive EU-Morocco Action Plan which will provide us with an operational roadmap for our bilateral relations in the next five years (2012-2016). The new Action Plan will be fully in line with the political, economic and social reform agenda of Morocco and with the EU’s renewed approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy. In particular regarding our Southern partners

The Action Plan contains orientations for progressive alignment to EU legal and regulatory acquis in key areas in order to establish closer economic integration with the EU with benefits for Morocco in terms of: foreign investment, market access, competitiveness and job creation. It also contains important objectives for the consolidation of the respect of human rights and democratic principles, improved governance and a more active involvement of the civil society.

    Our bilateral relations are currently in a positive dynamic phase and I would like to highlight in particular the following the areas:

  • The forthcoming entry into force (by 1st July 2012) of the Agreement on liberalisation of trade in agriculture. This is a balanced agreement that will contribute to the development of Morocco’s agriculture and trade while opening new market opportunities for the EU operators.

  • The on-going important bilateral negotiations, such as on liberalisation of trade in services and establishment and for a mobility partnership. The former one would pave the way for negotiations for the DCFTA while mobility partnership would allow us to better manage migration.

  • Technical and financial assistance continues at a high level (190 € million per annum). Furthermore, I’m happy to announce today a first additional allocation of 80 € million under the new “Spring” facility for Morocco in order to promote economic and social development and human rights/governance.

We are still going to discuss some other issues related to regional issues. Morocco is playing very important role in the regional cooperation; we are going to talk also about the Union for Mediterranean and about Maghreb Arab Union and its cooperation with the EU. Let me also say that in this context we welcome the positive trend in Algeria-Morocco relations. The EU looks forward to further progress in this process of regional integration.’’

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