Statement of European Commissioner Helena Dalli to EP on Issue of Unaccompanied Moroccan Minors – Verbatim –

Here follows excerpts from the statement of the European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, on Thursday in the European Parliament, on the issue of unaccompanied Moroccan minors. This statement confirms the EU’s consistent position on the multifaceted partnership between Morocco and Europe. It underlines the efforts made by the Kingdom in the field of migration and welcomes the decision of the Moroccan authorities to settle definitively the issue of unaccompanied minors. It also confirms that the controversial non-legislative resolution that was adopted by some MEPs on Morocco in no way reflects the position, or even the doctrine of the European Union regarding the strategic nature of the partnership that links it to the Kingdom. Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality: 1- The European Union has a long-standing and clear position on human rights, which are at the heart of our action and an essential component of our internal and external policies. Special attention is drawn to the most vulnerable groups and, in particular, to children. 2- The European Union has a long-standing partnership with Morocco, one of our closest neighbours and a key ally in many strategic fields. Since many years already, the European Union and Morocco have an excellent cooperation on migration, leading to recognised results, in particular in the latest years. 3- We are confident that close cooperation with Morocco, while respecting human rights, commitments and shared values, will enable us to respond to the challenges posed in the field of migration, in particular through enhanced dialogue with the Kingdom, which is a country of transit, origin and destination of migrants. 4- In this spirit and in the name of our strong relationship, we consider that it is paramount to reinforce our cooperation in search of common solutions. Our cooperation is based on dialogue, responsibility, mutual trust and respect. It is about finding concrete solutions to address together the socio-economic and migration issues within the framework of a global vision of the EU-Africa partnership. 5- In this context, the EU welcomes the decision by the Moroccan authorities to facilitate the return of clearly identified unaccompanied minors. Morocco made this announcement officially a few days ago, and we hope that this decision can be implemented effectively and quickly. All this reveals the need to turn to the future and to a fresh start in the EU’s migration policy. 6- The New Pact on Migration and Asylum gives this chance, proposing mutually beneficial partnerships with third countries. This close partnership with Morocco is important, Morocco which is fully committed to cooperating in the interest of our mutual prosperity and security and to jointly address common challenges. The European Union will use this privileged partnership to continue addressing migration, including -and particularly- the respect of migrants’ human rights. We will do so by strengthening our dialogue, and all of this with confidence, in order to achieve results on the political and humanitarian levels.