On behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel signed today the Administrative Arrangement on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation, together with her counter-part His Excellency, Mr Driss Ouaouicha, the Vice-Minister in charge of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The Administrative Arrangement delineates common objectives and areas of cooperation in the field of marine research and innovation within the context of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. In addition to consultations with experts from Morocco in the field of marine research, the agreement focuses on topics such as Climate Variability and Eco-System Approaches, Ocean Observation and Technologies, as well as Marine Pollution.
Commissioner Gabriel said:
Morocco’s unique location, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea is an important partner for ocean science. We need to work together to deepen our understanding of marine ecosystems and of the link between the Atlantic Ocean and climate change. The Arrangement signed today will strengthen the cooperation between the European Commission and the Kingdom of Morocco within the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.
In response, Vice-Minister Driss Ouaouicha, expressed the following:
Through this administrative arrangement and this cooperation with the European Union which is increasingly structured, particularly in terms of research, our ambition is to promote the development of human capital and the strengthening of the specific capacities of our students according to the priorities of this arrangement ... our will is to encourage joint research in terms of climate change, biodiversity and food security.Our commitment is to promote the role of Morocco and its leading Universities as a regional and continental hub of excellence in areas related to higher education and scientific research.
The Administrative Arrangement aims to facilitate human capital development, research training and scientific exchange, to promote Morocco’s role as a regional and continental hub. Additionally, it also puts emphasis on harnessing the interaction between education, science, technology and innovation for improved learning. This is a key element of the Communication “Towards a Comprehensive Strategy for Africa” adopted in March this year.
The Joint Declaration of the 14th Association Council meeting between the EU and Morocco (27 June 2019) has adopted four priority areas for future collaboration between the EU and Morocco, namely: a common political and security space, a shared knowledge space (including Research and Innovation), a common economic space, and a space of shared values.
The EU-Morocco agreement on Science & Technology cooperation (2003) provides a framework for structured dialogue including regular yearly meetings of an EU-Morocco Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC).
Towards an All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
The Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation (May 2013), puts ocean research at the centre of scientific cooperation between the European Union, Canada and the United States.
The success of the Galway Statement was extended to the South Atlantic, paving the way for the signature of the European Union, Brazil, South Africa Belém Statement on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation (July 2017).
In 2018, the European Commission signed bilateral Administration Arrangements on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation with Argentina and Cabo Verde, which have effectively brought both countries under the umbrella of the Belém Statement.
8 December 2020