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French Version

European Union and Morocco strengthen their relations

During their third Association Council held today, the European Union and Morocco decided to intensify bilateral co-operation in the framework of the Association Agreement through the establishment of six strategic sub-committees on internal market; industry, trade and services; transport, environment and energy; research and innovation; agriculture and fisheries; and justice and security.

The new sub-committees will have the task of monitoring implementation of the partnership priorities and the approximation of legislation. Commissioner Chris Patten said: “This is the first time such an ambitious and complex network of committees has been established by the European Union with a partner country of the South Mediterranean. Our dialogue had reached maturity and definitely needed this new set of fora as a concrete and pragmatic instrument to further deepen our relations. I hope this example will be followed in our relations with other countries in the region”.
These six new sub-committees will report to the Association Committee (at Senior Official level) and complement other committees or working groups for which provision is already made in the Association Agreement (Working Group on migration and social affairs, customs co-operation committee, economic dialogue).

The new sub-committees will extend co-operation establishing clear objectives in the short, medium and long term. The above structure is coherent with the one established by other EU agreements (such as those with the Central and Eastern European Countries and Turkey) while taking account of the specificity of the MED partners of the EU.

Background :

The Association agreement between the EU and Morocco entered into force on 1 March 2000 and envisages the establishment of a free trade area between the EU and Morocco at the latest on 28 February 2012. The association agreements form the legal basis of the relations between the European Union and the countries which take part in the Barcelona Process. The conclusions of the November 2000 Marseilles Conference call for the expansion of the objectives and deepening of our relations with the countries of the Mediterranean in the framework of the Association Agreements. The Euro-Med countries with whom agreements are in force have expressed the desire for greater co-operation in the various areas covered by the numerous provisions of the association agreements. In particular, the Moroccan government expressed on several occasions its wish to obtain a “statut avancé” in its relations with the EU ("more than association, less than accession").

Brussels,03 03 2003
info
Union Européenne
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