The European Parliament’s criticism of Morocco has caused a huge political whirlwind.
The surprise came from the timing chosen to deliver such a critical charge when for years, the institutions of the European Union, including parliament, have been full of praise for the Moroccan political model and the multiple progress made. To the point of presenting Morocco as an example of Arab, Mediterranean and African democracy to follow and support.
This sudden exit from the European Parliament on Morocco continues to cause a lot of ink to flow and raise a lot of questions. Who inspired, organized this anti-Moroccan agitation in the European Parliament? What are the motivations and agendas of those who persist today in targeting Morocco with so much insistence and verbal violence?
With regard to the Maghreb region, European parliamentarians have remained silent on countries such as Algeria where a simple post on Facebook can lead its author to the basements of his prisons or on the terrible repression which has down on its Hirak to the point that whole sections of society, including the elites, think only of fleeing the country. Or Tunisia where President Kaïs Saied authoritatively seizes all the levers of power and transforms the country into an assumed dictatorship. With regard to these ten countries, these same European parliamentarians have nothing but Chimene’s eyes, full of understanding and support.
If freedom of the press and human rights were the major concerns of the European parliament, its parliamentarians would have stood out for their effervescent reports on the region. But what we find is a culpable and complicit silence with regard to the Algerian and Tunisian dramas and an overexposed targeting of Morocco.
It is this discrepancy in assessments that is debating and challenging. Morocco is targeted because the European Parliament has become a platform permeable to all lobbying and influence operations. Whether they are the work of European or non-European countries.
This Morocco operation launched from Strasbourg is the result of a carefully considered strategy to pollute the image and governance of a country which has begun in recent years to distinguish itself and to acquire a form of strategic autonomy which has enabled it to diversify its economic and military alliances.
There can be no other explanation for this relentlessness of certain groups in the European Parliament than this desire to do battle with Morocco in the hope of limiting its growth and its room for manoeuvre.
Faced with this sequence, the moment of truth has come for the strategic partnership between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco recently celebrated with unprecedented political pomp by the visits of the President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, and the head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell.
For many connoisseurs of the mysteries and the functioning of the European house, the charge of the European Parliament against Morocco does not change the fundamentals of the strategic partnership sealed between Rabat and the institutions of Brussels. A clear desire to pollute its image, to tarnish its reputation without this altering the reactor of the partnership.
Morocco reacted to this violent charge by organizing an exceptional meeting of the Moroccan parliament with its two chambers. Messages of indignation and overhaul of the dialogue between the two political structures were widely publicized.
To respond to this attack, Morocco has many choices. But the most relevant thing would be to take care to deepen the strategic partnership that binds Morocco to the institutions of the European Union. For that would be a victory against all those who worked behind the scenes to torpedo this partnership and weaken it.
In this political standoff with the European Parliament, Morocco must unlock its knots with France. Its deputies, whether left, green or even renaissance, Emmanuel Macron’s party, have been at the forefront, if not the main leaders of this campaign against Morocco. As if this group of French deputies had a particular account to settle with Morocco.
Moreover, the obvious difficulty that Rabat and Paris have in setting the date for the next state visit of Emmanuel Macron, testifies to the deep differences between the two countries which would explain this charge of the European Parliament against Morocco.