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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article14 December 2018Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations4 min read

Western Mediterranean Route: EU reinforces support to Morocco

The EU is intensifying its support to Morocco to address irregular migration in response to increased migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean Route.


The EU is intensifying its support to Morocco to address irregular migration in response to increased migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean Route.

The additional funding adopted under the EU emergency Trust Fund for Africa will bring the overall migration-related assistance to Morocco to €148 million in 2018.It willhelp step up the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, including through reinforced integrated border management.

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, commented: "Together with our Member States, the EU is stepping up its support to Morocco, a key partner for the European Union. The EU and Morocco need to tackle the current challenges together; together we can fight smugglers, save lives, and support people in need. But our cooperation goes far beyond migration: we are working to strengthen our partnership via socio-economic development, decentralisation and integration of the youth - to the benefit of the people in Morocco and in Europe".

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said:"Morocco is under particular migratory pressure with flows along the Western Mediterranean increasing. This is why we are intensifying and deepening our partnership with Morocco and increasing our financial support. This funding will help to strengthen border management and the fight against smugglers together but also to improve the protection of migrants and to help prevent irregular departures by supporting economic development in the region. Shared challenges require joint solutions and partnerships, and the EU stands by Morocco."

The new funding is part of the EU's continuous support for Morocco's National Strategy on Migration and Asylum. It helps protect vulnerable migrants, step up the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, while improving the Moroccan authorities' capacity to manage their borders. By the end of the year, the EU will have committed €148 million to Morocco in migration-related assistance, including:

  • A programme to support border management in the Maghreb region under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was adopted in July 2018. Morocco will benefit from €30 million out of this total budget, which helps Moroccan border agencies and related bodies to protect vulnerable migrants, address irregular migration, and dismantle cross-border criminal networks. The programme is already being rolled-out in close cooperation with the Moroccan authorities.
  • A newly adopted programme worth €70 million to support Morocco in the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, including through a reinforced management of borders.
  • A support programme worth €40 million to help Morocco developing its border management system was adopted at the operational committee of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa's this week together with an additional €8 million programme to further strengthen migration governance policies at regional level.

Monitoring and coordination of the different actions remain a priority.

EU boosts support for inclusive development

This funding will add to the overall EU support to Morocco in 2018, which has been boosted further through the recent adoption of a €182 million package in support of inclusive development objectives:

  • Decentralisation (€50 million), in order to support Morocco's "advanced regionalisation" process and the national strategy for the development of rural/mountain areas.
  • Youth (€35 million), to enhance the integration of youth (men and women) into society, especially for those with the least opportunities through an advanced offer of Morocco's local community services.
  • Good governance and public finance management (€62 million), to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of the public administration of Morocco through modern public finance management tools and capacity building of its personnel
  • Support for private sector, green investment and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises development (€30 million), to create new opportunities for job creation and sustainable development
  • Complementary activities to strengthen civil society and rule of law (€5 million)


For over 10 years, the EU has been Morocco's strongest partner in terms of technical and financial support on migration including through the Mobility Partnership Agreement concluded in 2013. The EU supports the National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum, adopted by Morocco in 2014, with actions specifically focusing on the integration of migrants and the promotion and protection of their rights, developing sustainable return and reintegration systems, and promoting a regional dialogue on migration. Since 2014, the EU has committed €232 million channelled through different funds and instruments to support migration-related actions in Morocco.

EU cooperation with Morocco goes beyond migration: since 2014, via the European Neighbourhood Instrument between, the EU has allocated over €1 billion in assistance to Morocco, focusing 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.

For more information

Factsheet – EU cooperation on migration with Morocco

EU cooperation with Morocco

EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa – North of Africa window

EU actions along the Western Mediterranean Route