Posted by: European Commission

European Commission – Press release

The European Union and Morocco have launched today the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) in the country to pave the way to a better business environment and foster economic development.

The European Union is strongly committed to supporting Morocco in building a sound, inclusive and sustainable economy. Launched in September 2017 to help boost investment in partner countries in Africa and the European Neighbourhood, the EIP will now encourage investments promoting an inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development also in Morocco.

Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations and European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn commented: “The European External Investment Plan will help leverage significant private funds into key sectors of Morocco’s economy. The plan will in turn empower local entrepreneurs and create jobs in the country. This new and innovative approach will also help carry out big sustainable development projects, which otherwise would not have been possible at all or would have been significantly smaller.” 

The EU External Investment Plan will build on three pillars:

  1. The new European Fund for Sustainable Development€4.1 billion in grants will be made available to support sustainable development in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the European Neighbourhood, as well as allowing public and private operators to leverage each other’s strengths.
  2. Technical assistance. This will help improve the quality of projects and mobilise investment from financial institutions, public institutions and private investors.
  3. Additional assistance. This will be given to public authorities to foster a more favourable overall business environment through better policy making and legislation, in dialogue with the private sector.

The package was announced today at an EU External Investment Plan (EIP) launching conference in Morocco, in the presence of Michael Köhler, European Commission Director for Neighbourhood South, and Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco, Mohamed Boussaid. The conference brought together national authorities, private sector companies, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and other stakeholders to discuss investment opportunities and ways to overcome remaining barriers in accessing funds.


  • Bilateral Support

Between 2014 and 2017, the EU has allocated €807 million in bilateral assistance to Morocco. EU support focuses mainly on equitable access to social services, democratic governance, the rule of law and mobility, as well as employability and sustainable and inclusive growth. Complementary support for capacity development and civil society is also provided.

  • External Investment Plan (EIP)

The EU’s External Investment Plan is an innovative and ambitious EU plan that encourages investment in the EU’s partner countries in Africa and the European neighbourhood region. It promotes inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development, so as to tackle some of the root causes of irregular migration. The EIP has been adapted to the specific needs of partner countries and builds on the successful model used within the EU, where the ‘Juncker Plan’ has already triggered more than €240 billion of investment.

The EIP encourages private investors to contribute to sustainable development in countries outside of Europe. It integrates a new generation of financial instruments – namely guarantees, risk sharing instruments, as well as the blending of grants and loans – into the more traditional forms of assistance such as grants. It also includes a guarantee mechanism to crowd in private investments, where viable business proposals meet social needs, and where limited public funds can attract private money.

Overall, about €44 billion are expected to be mobilised under the EIP from 2017 until 2020 for Africa and the European Neighbourhood.