Morocco-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Holds Several Meetings in Brussels, Strasbourg

Within the framework of the deepening of consultations and discussions with the European party, the members of the Morocco-European Union Joint Parliamentary Committee, under the chairmanship of Lahcen Haddad, held a series of meetings at the European Parliament in Brussels from 27 to 30 June 2022 and which continue from 04 to 07 July in Strasbourg. The Moroccan parliamentary delegation held meetings in Brussels with 27 MEPs representing the various political groups sitting in the European Parliament, to discuss the reports prepared by the committees on human rights and foreign affairs, said a statement from the committee. The same source said that it is the rapporteur of the European Parliament, Isabel Wiseler-Lima of the European People’s Party group (EPP Group), which proceeded to the preliminary drafting of the main report of the Committee on Human Rights on the protection of journalists around the world and the policy of the EU, established after exchanging views with journalists and experts in the field, while proceeding to the proposal of a draft recommendation seeking to condemn Morocco. Regarding the Foreign Affairs Committee, the same source said that the discussions focused on the same issue on the report of MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White (EPP Group) on foreign policy and security in the context of the renewal of the partnership with the countries of the southern neighbors and the new Agenda for the Mediterranean, where it was discussed a proposal for Amendment 179 and the “anti-Moroccan” Draft Resolution 192, tabled by a group of MEPs from the Green Group and the European United Left led by MEP Idoia Villanueva Ruiz and MEP Marisa Matias. The statement said that during the same period and in parallel with the attempted assault of illegal immigrants against the metal fence of Melilla, the two groups (Green Group and the European United Left) in the European Parliament proceeded to the presentation of an urgent, anti-Moroccan draft resolution. “Faced with this premeditated strategy against Morocco led by some MEPs supporting the separatist theses of the polisario and their vain attempt to mislead European public opinion, members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee Morocco-EU have intensified their meetings with the European parliamentarians of weight, “adds the same source. It further noted that all parties have expressed their common desire for the continuation of the Euro-Moroccan dialogue and the importance of finding solutions through consultation to all challenges and threats on the way to infuse a new dynamic to the relations uniting Morocco and the EU in order to carry out a joint action to promote the policy of good European neighborhood, fight against illegal immigration and take advantage of all opportunities for cooperation to achieve sustainable security and shared prosperity. During these meetings, members of the Moroccan-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee called for the strengthening and support of the process of Euro-Moroccan construction through an approach aimed at establishing stronger links that can boost joint development, especially in the areas of energy, renewable energies, peace, security and agriculture, maritime fisheries, immigration and organized crime, cross-border terrorism, as a necessity taking into account the Moroccan-European partnership in all its dimensions. The same source noted that Moroccan MPs stressed the importance of being aware of the dangerous situation and the increase in security threats, and stressed the importance of federating efforts in the framework of the participatory and preventive approach to address the risks threatening the Euro-Mediterranean region, indicating that thanks to its actions and initiatives undertaken, the Moroccan-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee was able to defeat three draft urgent resolutions and two draft amendments at the level of the Human Rights Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. The committee also succeeded in making its voice heard by MEPs in the plenary session of July 4 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Thus, this plenary session was content after the adoption of the agenda, to open a debate of 20 minutes, during which several MEPs demonstrated the risks of the acts of the mafias of illegal immigration, which proceeded to arm irregular migrants who entered Morocco illegally, which led to the assault against the metal fence of Melilla, and the death of 23 migrants, and has generated multiple positions with legal, judicial and political dimensions following these incidents triggered by the mafias of migration. These migration mafias have introduced sub-Saharan migrants to Moroccan territory illegally, attacked public officials, and adopted armed assembly and disobedience in the manner of human trafficking mafias and criminal gangs, with the aim of inciting waves of illegal immigrants to assault the metal fence of the occupied prefecture of Melilla. MEPs highlighted the role of Morocco in the fight against irregular migration and urged the European side to further cooperation with the Kingdom for the establishment of an integrated approach to migration issues. In this context, the European officials welcomed the role of the Joint Parliamentary Committee Morocco-EU and the efforts made on the way of reconciliation of positions and sharing of expertise and which are likely to strengthen the partnership and raise the level of parliamentary diplomacy. In addition, the members of the parliamentary committee took this opportunity to counteract the maneuvers aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of the Kingdom and the distinguished partnership between Morocco and the EU, as based on mutual respect and particularly the international charters and conventions concluded under the advanced status that characterizes the Morocco-EU partnership. On the same occasion, the committee has sensitized MEPs on the action taken by the groups of the Greens and the European United Left which is likely to create confusion and reflect a bias in contradiction with the position of the EU on the territorial integrity of Morocco. The statement concluded that the Morocco-EU parliamentary committee, in reaction to these anti-Moroccan actions and at the request of the committee, MEPs, including Mr. Thierry Mariani, have questioned the European Commission on the issue of immigration and the problems it creates as well as the pioneering role that Morocco plays in the protection of Europe against waves of migration crossing its maritime borders.