Government Chief Calls for New Impetus for EU-Morocco Association Agreement

The EU-Morocco Association Agreement needs a new impetus, in mutual trust, said the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch, stressing that the partnership between the Kingdom and Europe is “the most advanced”. There is no shortage of future topics, including renewable energy, food security, information technology and the development of green hydrogen, he said in an interview with French daily l’Opinion. According to the head of government, “Europeans have every interest in investing in Morocco while the health crisis has convinced them to relocate their activities in a nearby environment,” recalling that Morocco is the first partner of the EU in the African continent, with trade that has tripled in the last decade to reach 45 billion euros in 2021. The EU has greatly increased its exports and direct investment in the Kingdom while Morocco has, for its part, exported eight billion dollars – a record – of agricultural and agri-food products in 2022, he added. Moreover, Akhannouch stressed that faced with the effects of the war in Ukraine, the post-Covid boom and an exceptional year of drought, the most acute in forty years in Morocco, “our mission is to adapt, to manage expectations. “We must act with a dual concern, which is to provide solutions to Moroccans, while ensuring our macroeconomic balance,” he said, adding that the action of the Executive today must mitigate the shock wave without leaving a difficult legacy to future generations. The priority is to reduce the effects of inflation for the most vulnerable, he said, arguing that rationalization efforts and good tax revenues have made it possible to do so while reducing the public deficit to 5.3% against an initial forecast of 5.7%. Among the priorities of the government for 2023, Akhannouch mentioned the generalization of compulsory health insurance (AMO) for all Moroccans as well as the generalization of family allowances, which is, in his opinion, “a great first for the establishment of the social state desired by His Majesty King Mohammed VI”. It is also about education, the reform of the legislative framework for investment, the major site of water resources and the reform of the energy sector, which are additional milestones on the path of structural transformation of the Kingdom, he argued.