The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, held on Monday 19 May 2014, in Rabat, talks with the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr. Stefan Füle, who is on visit to Morocco.
At a joint press conference following the meeting, Mr. Mezouar expressed the « very strong » ambitions of both parties « to work with intelligence and determination », noting that Morocco and the European Union have agreed to strengthen the bilateral ties, through « mechanisms which enable to act and to tackle issues with the necessary promptness and speed ».
The Minister underlined that this approach is an element to be added to the several mechanisms to further enrich both parties’ agenda, highlighting in this context, the negotiations on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), the mobility Agreement, in addition to other economic-related-agreements.
Regarding the links between Morocco and the EU, Mr. Mezouar underlined that it is not about a factual or economic relationship. « It is strategic partnership-based-relationship that also reflects convergence and shared values, which are the values of freedom, Human Rights, democracy, free enterprise, and peace and security in the region and the world. »
Furthermore, the Minister also highlighted that the reforms that Morocco is undertaking and the nature of these reforms, « represent a societal model for which we have opted, which is based on openness, democracy, tolerance, Human Rights, respect of the universal values, and which aim at producing an impact on the daily life of the population, and the way the Moroccan society operates. »
Mr. Mezouar indicated that a new generation of reforms will come, « which is adapted to the maturity and evolution of the Moroccan society, and its absoption capacity of reform, « adding that other aspects of partnership » should mean convergence, through adapting certain laws and regulations of the country to the provisions of the EU, with the objective to be upgraded with regards to all the aspects of our partnership. »
For his part, Mr. Stefan Füle underlined that « our common goal is to further deepen our privileged partnership and our excellent relations, to the benefit of our respective peoples ». The European Official indicated that he aim, through his visit to Morocco, is « to provide a new impetus and new ambitions to our bilateral relationship », highlighting in this same vein, « the strategic importance of our partnership with Morocco ».
Mr. Stefan Fülea noted that the European Commission wishes to maintain and to strengthen its political and technical dialogue with Morocco on a range of issues of common interest, adding that the Union aspires to take advantage of the « potential within our cooperation », in order to enhance economic development, job creation, and social inclusion.
Mr. Füle welcomed the fact that Morocco has become a « model country for this region and demonstrated a very strong commitment with the European Union », adding that both partners are now moving towards the future « with the determination to maintain this course ».
The European Commissioner continuously stressed the reforms that Morocco has undertaken, mentioning in particular, « the increased role of women in the public and political life », and also the reform of justice », including the reform of the military justice ».
On this occasion, he urged Morocco to maintain this momentum and to pursue its leadership in political, economic and social reforms, assuring that « despite the budgetary constraints encountered by the EU currently, we will continue our efforts to cooperate with Morocco ».
The important and ambitious reforms represent, according to Mr. Füle, « the basic ground and the engine of our partnership », adding that the talks with Mr. Mezouar, focused, among other issues, on the « level of ambition that we want to maintain, and on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement ». « He indicated that the negotiations continue on the partnership, the mobility, and the negotiations for visa facilitation, and readmission will resume soon.