Posted by: Morocco World News

The European commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhood policy is visiting Morocco to reinforce the partnership between the country and the EU.

Hahn is meeting with Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, and Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun today in Rabat.

The visit is an opportunity to enhance the EU-Morocco partnership in several spheres, and “review the EU’s commitment to support Morocco’s development programs,” the state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press quoted Hahn.

According to Hahn, Morocco is a “major strategic partner in North Africa and the whole continent” for the European Union.

Hahn emphasized: “The two partners share many challenges and opportunities and it is important to explore together ways and means to move forward in this relation.”

Hahn pledged to sign an EU-funded program to back small and medium-sized enterprises in Morocco as a token of the EU’s commitment to help with the development of Morocco.

EU-Morocco relations

Morocco and the European Union share solid political and economic ties, represented in bilateral cooperation on migration, business opportunities, agriculture and fisheries.

The EU allocated €807 million between 2014 and 2017 to assist in Morocco’s “equitable access to social services, democratic governance, the rule of law and mobility, as well as employability and sustainable and inclusive growth,” states the EU.

In July, the EU commission allocated €90 million in extra funds to the EU Trust Fund for Africa, dedicated to three migration-related programs for North Africa to strengthen border management and protection of migrants in the region.

One of these programs, which is worth €55 million, is dedicated to border management for Morocco and Tunisia.  It will support the efforts of national institutions in both countries to save lives at sea, improve maritime border management, and combat smugglers operating in the region, the European Commission said in a press release.