“In 1969, the Kingdom of Morocco, concluded a Trade Agreement with the European Communities. Forty years later, the Advanced Status is a proof of the way gone all over by both sides and the qualitative and quantitative development of relations between the two parties”.
Bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union have been intensified, in a progressive and sustained pace, since the signing, in 1969, of the first Morocco-EEC Agreement, that had an exclusively commercial aspect. This cooperation evolved later to end up on a new Agreement in 1976, renegotiated in 1988 and contained commercial, economic, social and financial provisions.
The scope of cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the EU was, later, strengthened by the signing, on February 26th 1996, of the “Association Agreement” that came into effect in March 2000 and has political, economic, commercial, socio-cultural and security dimensions.
The Association Agreement fits into the framework of Barcelona Declaration of 1995 that set up the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, reiterated by the Union for the Mediterranean in 2008, aiming at achieving three fundamental objectives: reinforcing political and security dialogue, shared prosperity and rapprochement between peoples through a social, cultural and human partnership.
This cooperation was even further strengthened within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, launched by the European Union in 2003, through the adoption, in July 2005, of Morocco-European Union Action Plan.
The European Neighborhood Policy reiterates the commitment of both sides to consolidate more the political, economic, social, cultural and human bonds, with the aim of giving a new impetus to the partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco, which goes beyond the Association, following the call made, in 2000, by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, for an advanced Status with the European Union, which will be “at the same time, more and better than the Association, rectified and reviewed and, for some more time, a little less than adhesion”.
Therefore, the two parties adopted, in October 2008, a joint document on the advanced Status, with the aim of consolidating the gains of the bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union and enhancing new ambitious and innovative initiatives.
It is to be noted that the advanced status stands for the recognition by the European Union of the progresses achieved by Morocco in the field of the political, social and economic reforms, confirms both partners’ adherence to the same values of democracy, rule of law and human rights and opens up new prospects for the multidimensional Morocco-European relations.
The Kingdom of Morocco got involved, since the adoption of the aforesaid joint document, in achieving certain promising actions targeting the optimal proximity of the Kingdom towards Europe in the political, economic, social and human fields.
Hence, the two parties held the first Morocco-EU Summit, on March 7th 2010, in Grenada, which helped giving a new momentum to their bilateral relations. Morocco reiterated, on that occasion, its attachment to the consolidation of its partnership with the European Union. In fact, His Majesty the King Mohammed VI welcomed, in his speech addressed to the Summit, the excellence of the relations between Morocco and the European Union which fit into “an ascending dynamic thanks to the advanced Status”, setting in this respect “an ambitious course for the future”.
In this spirit, the Kingdom of Morocco and the EU put into practice a new ambitious and multidimensional “action plan for the implementation of the Advanced Status” which represents a roadmap for the bilateral cooperation for the period 2013-2017 and prepares the two parties to set up a new contractual framework that will take over the Morocco-EU Agreement of Association.