EU gives Morocco multi-million euro aid despite crisis

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Marek Sawicki, EU Minister of Agriculture and rural development (right) and Aziz Akhenouch, Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and fisheries signing a deal in Brussels. Photo – European Union

The European Commission announced on Monday it has approved a 2012 action plan for Morocco worth €112 million that will support the management and safeguard of forests and reform the country’s financial management and public administration sectors.

The Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy said the new funds are a perfect reflection of the EU priorities for its partnership with Morocco within the new neighbouring policies.

“I think that these new allocations fully reflect the priorities of the partnership between the EU and Morocco in the new neighbourhood policy: a policy more effective and accessible for Moroccan citizens and the development of Moroccan regions with a balanced use of the country’s natural resources”, Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said in a statement.

The programme will oversee a €37 million spending on management and safeguard of forests along with another grant of €75 million for financial management and public administration reforms.

The “Hakama”, or governance, programme will on the other hand pursue a more effective use of public funding and boost the performance and transparency levels of the local administration as well as improve public services, an EU press statement said. The European Commission has approved another €80 million to be allocated within the SPRING (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth) programme. This additional allocation, announced by EC in April, comes in response to the reforms undertaken by the North African kingdom.

The SPRING programme, with a total budget of more than €500 million for 2011-2013, aims to provide increased support to countries south of the Mediterranean in the process of democratisation.

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