Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, stated, on July 12 in Rabat, that Morocco will decide on the future of cooperation with the European Union (EU) in fisheries in the light of the government’s assessments and consultation with the Kingdom’s European partners.
During a press briefing following the closing of the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Atlantic African States Process (AASP), Bourita affirmed that “the Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement is still in force,” noting that “the fisheries Protocol, concluded for four years (2019-2023), will expire on July 17.”
The minister explained that this expiry was “programmed” since the conclusion of the Protocol on July 18, 2019.
Bourita described the implementation of the Protocol as “satisfactory,” noting that cooperation had been “positive and mutually beneficial” over the past four years.
The Moroccan official recalled that a meeting is scheduled to take place this week in Brussels between the Moroccan authorities and their European counterparts, within the framework of a Joint Commission in the fisheries sector, to conduct a joint assessment of these four years.
On the future of the fisheries Agreement, the Moroccan minister stressed that the government is considering three parameters, the first of which is “doctrinal,” emphasizing that today, and in line with the Vision and foreign policy outlined by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco favors partnerships “with a clearer added value.”
“Morocco is seeking more advanced partnerships where the Kingdom’s added value is greater,” explained Bourita.
Concerning the second parameter, the foreign minister explained that the Kingdom has developed a national fishing strategy “Halieutis” and set up a vision aimed at developing the sector, which takes into account the operators’ expectations and requires adaptations as part of the interaction with partners.
The Moroccan official also noted that the third parameter, integrated into the government’s strategy and assessment, is linked to scientific data to preserve this vital natural resource for Morocco and Moroccans and ensure the Kingdom’s sustainability.
“Morocco will therefore hold talks with the European side based on this reflection that is currently underway,” underlined Bourita, indicating that dialogue and cooperation with European partners are ongoing.