MEPs Call for Stronger Partnership with Morocco

MEPs regretted, Wednesday, the decision of the European Court of First Instance concerning the agriculture and fisheries agreements with Morocco, while advocating the maintenance and strengthening of relations and partnership with the Kingdom. “The decision of the European Court calls on us to intensify and maintain cooperation relations in fisheries and agricultural products between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco,” said Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino, chairman of the Maghreb delegation in the European Parliament on Twitter. For his part, the Italian MEP, Marco Zanni, noted that “Morocco is a key partner in the Mediterranean region and Africa for Italy and the EU”. “We must redouble our efforts to develop cooperation and coordination with this country,” he said. For French MEP Dominique Bilde, the decision of the European court is “regrettable”. However, she said, Morocco will remain a key partner for the EU. German MEP Maximilian Krah Mdep noted that the court’s decision “clearly indicates that the EU cannot avoid a political decision: the Sahara is part of Morocco”. In a statement to the press, the MEP Dominique Riquet, meanwhile, recalled that “all European institutions (Council, Parliament, and the Commission) have a position in favor of agreements with Morocco, including on projects of agricultural collaboration and fisheries,” stressing that the court’s decision does not entail “politically any change, with a majority that is in favor of continuing and deepening the collaboration with Morocco”. This decision does not interrupt the cooperation between the two parties, he noted, saying that “we defend the privileged collaboration with Morocco, which is more than a partner, it is a friend”.