EU Neighborhood Info Center (June 7, 2013) — The EU and Morocco today signed a mobility partnership that establishes a set of political objectives and provides for a series of initiatives designed to ensure that the movement of persons is managed as effectively as possible.
The partnership was signed by Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Saaddine El Otmani, the Moroccan Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and the ministers responsible for migration from the nine EU Member States participating in this partnership (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
“I am delighted that Morocco is the first country from the Mediterranean region to enter into a partnership of this kind with the EU. The formation of structural cooperation on migration and mobility is a turning point for our relationship with Morocco. We have today made a huge step forward and I hope that other partner countries will also follow suit,” commented Commissioner Malmström.
The measures provided for in the EU-Morocco mobility partnership include negotiations between the EU and Morocco on an agreement for facilitating the issuing of visas for certain groups of people, particularly students, researchers and business professionals. Negotiations will also continue on an agreement for the return of illegal migrants.
One objective of the Partnership is to improve the information available to qualified Moroccan citizens on employment, education and training opportunities available in the EU and also to make mutual recognition of professional and university qualifications easier. Another objective is to support the integration of Moroccan citizens who regularly visit an EU Member State.
As regards irregular migration, the EU and Morocco will work together in order to combat the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings and to provide assistance for victims of these crimes. They will work closely together in order to ensure that Morocco can establish a national asylum and international protection system.