EU-Morocco: Agricultural agreement sign of credibility
Commissioner Štefan Füle welcomed the positive vote of the European Parliament on the Agricultural agreement with Morocco on Thursday. "This agreement is particularly important in the context of the changes in our Southern Neighbourhood since it will support increased trade and create job opportunities," Mr Füle said after the MEPs approved the EU-Morocco Agreement on the liberalization of trade in agricultural products, fish and fishery products during the plenary session in Strasbourg by 369 votes. "The approved agreement is fully in line with our new approach and sends a strong message to Morocco and to other Southern Neighbours about our determination to advance our relationship in a practical way that will have a strong positive impact on citizens both in Morocco and the EU," Commissioner Füle said recalling that the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is based on supporting reforms in the partner countries according to the principle ´more for more´.
"Today's vote also boosts the credibility of our efforts to establish a close partnership with our neighbours, including in particular the principles of mutual accountability and 'more for more'," Mr Füle said. In his closing statement after yesterday's plenary debate, Commissioner Füle appreciated the close and positive cooperation with the MEPs on this issue and recalled that last December the EP supported the new approach to ENP, in particular the vision of the gradual economic integration of the neighbours in the EU´s internal market. "The agreement with Morocco is a building block of this exercise and its adoption will send a very positive and encouraging signal to all our ENP partners in the East and South," he stated and stressed that the Commission intends to deliver on the commitments it has taken towards the EP in addressing the concerns raised in the resolution adopted today.Mr Füle discussed the Agricultural agreement with Moroccan partners during his recent visit to Rabat (on 19th January) where he also encouraged the new government in its reform efforts. Morocco is an important partner for the EU. Advanced Status for Morocco was concluded in 2008 and the entry into force of the Agricultural agreement will give substance to this Advanced Status. It will create investment opportunities for EU companies and help to provide jobs in Morocco, therefore reducing the temptation to find better living opportunities abroad. In the light of current events in the Southern Mediterranean, the European Commission finds it important that the Agreement with Morocco on the further liberalisation of agricultural, processed agricultural and fishery products enters into force as soon as possible.