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kingdom’s Southern Provinces Population Fully Benefits from Agreements between Rabat, Brussels (Official EU Report)

Brussels - The European Union has reaffirmed, in its 2022 report, the full benefit of the population of the southern provinces of the kingdom of the agreements between Rabat and Brussels and their positive impact on the socio-economic development of these regions.

The publication of this annual report, by the services of the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS), is part of the implementation of the agreement in the form of exchange of letters, amending Protocols 1 and 4 of the Association Agreement between Morocco and the EU, which entered into force on July 19, 2019, commonly known as ''Agricultural Agreement''.

As in previous years, the positive tone of the report, which details the various aspects of the benefits that this agreement brings to the population of the southern provinces of the Kingdom, reflects the quality of the Partnership between Morocco and the European Union, and attests to the satisfactory implementation of the Agricultural Agreement, including through the tools of dialogue and exchange of information existing between the two parties.

+Quantitative impact on socio-economic development

The report confirms the upward trends in 2021 in trade between the two parties, thanks to the Agreement and the tariff preferences enjoyed by Moroccan products, including those of the Southern Provinces, for export to the EU, making them more competitive and attractive.

Supported by figures, the document reaffirms the positive impact of the agreement on the socio-economic development of the Moroccan Sahara regions and their populations, in terms of economic growth, production and export of agricultural and fisheries products, job creation and investment.

Main conclusion: Thanks to their development, the Moroccan Sahara regions have now become a real hub of prosperity and investment in the framework of the win-win partnership with the European Union.

Overall, the document of about thirty pages highlights the significant progress made by the Kingdom for the development of its southern provinces, under the "development program 2016-2021", through the implementation of major projects and various public policies deployed in these regions. It confirms the impact of the measures deployed and their multiplier effects in terms of investments, improvement of working conditions, socio-economic integration of women, strong support to youth, or infrastructure development.

+Substantial efforts and colossal investments

Equally important: The report reflects a recognition by the Commission and the EEAS of the substantial efforts made by the Kingdom in its Southern Provinces, in terms of rationalized and sustainable use of natural resources (Dakhla Port project, desalination plant project, plan to combat desertification, ...). It also notes significant national investments in the renewable energy sector, electricity production in the region and the development of new industrial activities that create jobs.

In its comprehensive and inclusive approach, the report recalls that the various economic actors and representatives of civil society, including non-governmental organizations active in the field of human rights in these regions, have stressed the paramount importance of the Agreement, its satisfactory implementation and its beneficial impact on the socio-economic development of the Moroccan Sahara regions.

The agreement is implemented in a balanced way. The tools for its proper implementation are still in place and functioning properly. Information exchanges have been carried out regularly and in a spirit of cooperation. The exchange system provides, on a monthly basis, information on exports of products and is functioning properly and has not given rise to research difficulties, the report says.

According to them, there is a constructive dialogue and regular contacts between the European Commission and the Moroccan authorities to ensure the proper implementation of the agreement.

+Important achievements in the defense of human rights

Without evading any area, the European Executive and the EEAS highlight Morocco's important efforts and achievements in the defense of human rights at the national level, and its active role at the multilateral level, as evidenced by its election as a member of the Human Rights Council for the period 2023-2025. It recalls the regular dialogue between Morocco and the EU within the framework of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Democratization and Governance and the important role played by the regional Human Rights Commissions in Dakhla and Laayoune, reiterated in the latest UN Security Council resolution.

Regarding the National Issue, the document recalls the EU's support for the UN-led process and the efforts of the new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General, Staffan de Mistura. It affirms the EU's commitment to strengthening regional cooperation and its readiness to contribute to it.

+Stinging reversal for Algeria

A new slap in the face by the European institutions to the propaganda of the adversaries on a so-called "plundering" of the resources of the Southern Provinces, the report confirms the importance of this Agreement for the Southern Provinces, and thus goes against the objective sought by the adversaries, aiming to deprive the populations of these regions of their right to development.

It represents a new setback inflicted by the European Commission and the EEAS to Algeria and the polisario, which keep multiplying unsuccessful maneuvers in order to question the legality of the Agreements between the EU and Morocco, covering the Southern Provinces. It comes, in fact, in the wake of the decision of the Administrative Court of London, rejecting their legal action against the Association Agreement between Morocco and the United Kingdom, which confirmed the validity of this Agreement that benefits the populations and development of all Moroccan regions.

No matter how much Algeria dislikes it, for which the report sounds like a rejection, this 2022 edition is further evidence of the continuity of trade relations between Morocco and the European Union, their stability, and the EU's continued commitment to its comprehensive, strategic, and long-standing partnership with Morocco.

Source: Agency Morocaine De Presse