24 November 2019
Since 2001, almost €215 million has been provided to Morocco by the EU to finance border security projects. Human rights abuses against migrants and refugees committed by Moroccan authorities call into question whether financial support from the EU to Moroccan border security should continue.
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See Statewatch Analysis: Aid, border security and EU-Morocco cooperation on migration control (pdf)
Initial EU funding efforts worth some €68 million took place between 2001 and 2010 and, despite an interlude in which financial support was concerned with reform of the country's migration policy, in 2018 funding for border security returned with a vengeance, with €140 million promised to Morocco - half of which comes from the EU Trust Fund for Africa.
The strengthening of the EU-Morocco relationship on migration control has coincided with a crackdown on migrant presence in the north of Morocco, during which at least 8,000 people have been arrested and internally displaced to the south by the Moroccan police.
People on the move have often faced violence at the hands of the Moroccan authorities in the name of enforcing the country's migration policy. Nevertheless, the European Commission is reticent to acknowledge that it may have contributed in some way to operations by the Moroccan security forces in which human rights have been violated - an official told Statewatch that Morocco "advocates for a humanistic approach that considers human rights and integration as its first priority."
There is little publicly-available information on the results of these funding programmes and the evaluation report for just one project is publicly available. However, the activities foreseen for each project - contained in documents released to Statewatch - indicate that development aid has been used to increase the capacity of Moroccan state institutions to control the country's land and sea borders, to exchange and coordinate information with both African and European partners. It seems like that the projects currently being implemented will continue in this vein.
See: Aid, border security and EU-Morocco cooperation on migration control (pdf)
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