EC-Morocco cooperation goes back to July 1969 when an agreement linking Morocco to the EEC was signed for a five-year period. Under the Global Mediterranean Policy, new bilateral agreements were concluded in 1976 with all three Maghreb countries, taking effect in 1978. This time, the GMP went beyond the strict framework of commercial cooperation and provided also for economic and financial aid.
Following the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in Barcelona in November 1995, Morocco and the EU signed an Association Agreement in 1996. It entered into force in March 2000, replacing the 1976 Cooperation Agreement. Negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) were launched in 2013. This DCFTA will extend significantly beyond the scope of the existing Association Agreement, in order to bring Moroccan legislation closer to EU legislation in trade-related areas.
The EU-Morocco relations are framed by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Among the ENP countries, Morocco was recognised an advanced status, opening up to high levels of political cooperation.
The EU’s financial assistance to Morocco comes through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), which is the main instrument to manage aid under the ENP. It provides support through bilateral, multi-country, and Cross Border Cooperation programmes. The ENI will provide Morocco with €728-890 million for the period 2014-2017.
Key EU-Morocco Documents (Click to Expand)
EU-Morocco Association Agreement (AA)
The EU-Morocco Association Agreement (AA) entered into force in 2000. The document adds to the long-standing economic cooperation betweeb the EU and Morocco new fields such as political dialogue and cultural exchange.
Respect for human rights and democratic principles is an important element of the political cooperation between the partners. Indeed, the AA foresees the possibility to be suspended in the event of major human rights violations.
Single Support Framework (2014-2017)
The Single Support Framework outlines the strategic framework within which the European Commission’s assistance will be provided to Morocco under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), for the period 2014-2017. It sets out the EU’s policy and cooperation goals, together with its intended strategic response. For the second half of ENI’s programming period, a new Single Support Framework is to be adopted.
The bilateral ENI budget allocation for Morocco for the period 2014-2017 is €728-890 million, i.e. an average of broadly €200 million per annum. The indicative allocation for the whole period (2014-2020) will be €1323-1617 million.
The EU and Morocco have established the following three priorities for cooperation through the bilateral envelope 2014-2017:
- Equitable access to social services (30%);
- Democratic governance, the rule of law and mobility (25%);
- Employment, sustainable, and inclusive growth (25%).
Beyond these priority sectors, complementary support for capacity development and civil society is foreseen by 20% of the entire budget for the given period.
EU-Morocco ENP Action Plan in the framework of the Advanced Status (2013-2017)
The EU-Morocco Action Plan is a political document laying out the strategic objectives of the cooperation between Morocco and the EU. It sets out Morocco’s agenda for political and economic reforms, with short and medium-term priorities. It also reflects Morocco’s needs and capacities, as well as Morocco’s and the EU’s interests.
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