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Λογότυπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής
European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
Morocco

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EU and Morocco

The European Union - Morocco relationship tackles common challenges such as economic development, innovation, climate change, justice, security, mobility, migration and good governance. The partnership is legally based on the Association Agreement, which entered into force in 2000. With the launch of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2004, which was reviewed in 2015, Morocco gradually became a privileged partner of the EU in the field of political and economic cooperation as well as trade, technical and development cooperation.

The Association Council, which brings together the Ministers of the EU and Morocco, frames the EU-Morocco relationship, including the political dialogue and cooperation priorities. The last Association Council meeting took place on 27 June 2019 and adopted a Joint Declaration which gave new impetus to the strategic, multidimensional and privileged EU-Morocco relationship.

Bilateral Cooperation

The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) was the key EU financing instrument for bilateral cooperation in Morocco for the period 2014-2020. The new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) will frame the EU’s cooperation for the period 2021-2027. The instrument’s approach includes grant funding as well as blending grants with loans from European and International Financing Institutions.

Under ENI, bilateral assistance followed multiannual programming through the Single Support Framework which defined the areas of focus for EU assistance from 2014 to 2020, in line with the Strategic Priorities.

For the period 2014-2020, the EU’s bilateral assistance to Morocco under the ENI amounted to €1.4 billion and focused on the following priority sectors:

  • Equitable access to social services;
  • Democratic governance, the rule of law and mobility;
  • Employment and sustainable and inclusive growth;
  • Enhanced capacity of civil society.

Under the EU External Investment Plan and the blending mechanism of the Neighbourhood Investment Platform (NIP), Morocco has benefited from over €11.5 billion of investment since 2007 for projects in the sectors of renewable energy, electrification, water, transport, urban development, and in support of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. EU grants increase the concessional nature of loans from International Financial Institution and absorb political and economic risks. Under the new NDICI instrument, an increased accent on blending EU grants with loans from European and International Financing Institutions will allow partner counties to unlock substantial level of concessional funding for investments. The new system of guarantees provided for under the NDICI will give access to additional funds from the crowding-in of both public and private investors.

On 9 February 2021, the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication on the renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood, establishing a new Agenda for the Mediterranean to relaunch and reinforce the EU’s partnership with the region. It will guide EU policy and programming towards the country for the coming years. The Joint Communication is accompanied by an Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours to ensure amongst others that the quality of life for people in the region improves and the economic recovery, including following the COVID-19 pandemic, leaves no one behind. The Plan includes 12 preliminary flagship initiatives to strengthen resilience, build prosperity and increase trade and investment to support competitiveness and inclusive growth. Relevant flagships Morocco will include: (1) support to Morocco’s economic recovery plan, (2) support to the green transition, (3) support to a modern and just social protection system, (4) support to digital development and innovation, (5) support to renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource efficiency, including water use, (6) support to the development of the agricultural sector.

EU NEIGHBOURS South

Regional Cooperation

Complementary support for the development of expertise in public administration and civil society organisations was also provided outside the bilateral priority sectors. The EU's activities in support to Civil Society Organisations capacities in Morocco included youth, the environment and gender equality, as well as art and culture.

Under the EU twinning tool, the Moroccan public administration partnered with European administrations for mutual learning and capacity building through sharing of EH best practices. Morocco benefited from 25 twinning projects in 2014-2020 in the sectors of Agriculture and Fisheries, Environment, Finance, Internal market and economic criteria, Health and consumer protection, Justice and home affairs, Nuclear safety, Energy, Social Affairs and employment, Standardisation and certification, Trade and industry, Telecommunications and Transports. Morocco also benefited from TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument) that supports public administration reforms with 44 events in 2015-2020. Morocco also participates in other initiatives open to the Southern Neighbourhood countries SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management).

Support in the field of migration under the EUTF Africa

Morocco benefits from bilateral and regional funding currently amounting to €236 million under the North of Africa window of the EUTF Africa  which supports the implementation of the Moroccan Strategy on Migration and Asylum with projects aimed at protecting vulnerable migrants and refugees, accompanying voluntary returns and reintegration in countries of origin, and supporting the creation of legal pathways and economic opportunities for young talents as alternative to irregular migration.

Other financing instruments

Morocco participates to the Erasmus+ programme which has been launched in 2014 and which supports the modernisation of the higher education sector and promotes mobility and co-operation with EU higher education institutions. In the framework of this programme around 5,942 Moroccan students, professors and university staff moved to Europe and over 3,336 European counterparts travelled to Morocco between 2015 and 2019.

Morocco also benefits from additional EU thematic programmes and instruments:

Further information

Factsheets available to download

Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below