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European Union backs Moroccan reforms [Magharebia]

The EU further commits to support Morocco’s reform trajectory:

magharebiaThe European Union last week pledged to provide up to 890 million euros to Morocco over the next three years to support democratic reforms.

The grant is aimed at three improving democratic governance and the rule of law, jobs and sustainable growth, access to basic services and support for civil society.

The memorandum of understanding signed November 5th in Rabat makes Morocco the largest Maghreb beneficiary of EU aid.

Moroccan Finance Minister Mohamed Boussaid said he was delighted at the funding deal. He added that it rewarded Morocco’s decisions on economic and social policy and respect for fundamental democratic values.

The EU ambassador to Morocco, Rupert Joy, highlighted the bloc’s faith in Morocco’s reform agenda.

“These new grants for the period 2014-2017 represent the EU acknowledgement of the uniqueness of its partnership with Morocco,” Joy said.

They “reflect EU determination to support the Moroccan government in its efforts to meet people’s aspirations and to turn the reforms initiated in 2011 into tangible progress, the ambassador added.

According to political analyst Hamza Zyadi, the European aid was based on a “more-for-more” principle.

Zyadi said that Maghreb countries would benefit from pooling their efforts in order to gain more from co-operation with international partners in terms of support for social programmes, such as employment or “win-win” economic partnerships.

If the countries of the Maghreb had created a regional economic hub, their economic growth could have been a few percentage points higher, Zyadi noted.

This view was shared by economist Ahmed Charfi, who said that Maghreb nations needed to rely on their complementary strengths in order to achieve the desired level of development.

“There are two things that are fundamental to development: democracy and promotion of the regional economy,” he said. “If the countries of the Maghreb combine their efforts, they can jointly tackle social problems such as unemployment, regional and social inequalities and poverty,” Charfi said.

“Together, they can make rapid progress,” the economist added…[Original story]

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