Morocco’s crucial role in managing migratory flows to Spain and Europe was highlighted at the meeting of the Permanent Joint Moroccan-Spanish Migration Group, convened Friday in Rabat and in comments by officials and experts following this meeting.
The commentators also underlined that Morocco, which bears the brunt of illegal migration, takes a comprehensive and effective approach to fight the phenomenon.
In this connection, Spanish Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Pérez Ruiz, said Spain’s and Morocco’s commitment to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation on migration is an “example to follow.”
“We are neighboring countries and strategic partners, and our daily work together has been an example, especially in the area of migration flows control and fighting human trafficking networks,” Rafael Pérez was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Spanish Ministry of Interior following the Rabat meeting.
“We firmly believe that the best option to address this challenge is bilateral cooperation with the countries of origin and with those who share the same challenge,” he added.
Pérez Ruiz highlighted the collaboration mechanisms that have proved their “operational effectiveness” in recent years, namely the joint sea, land and air patrols by the Guardia Civil and the Gendarmerie Royale, the exchange of information and police collaboration to dismantle human trafficking networks, and the establishment of police cooperation centers in Tangier and Algeciras.
For his part, the Spanish Secretary of State for Migration, Jesus Perea Cortijo, stressed the need to continue supporting regular migration programs as a strategic objective for Spain and the European Union.
The Spanish official highlighted the importance of training and integration in this area as well as the need to improve access routes for Moroccan students wishing to pursue their university studies in Spain.
As for Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs, Angeles Moreno Bau, she voiced her satisfaction with the resumption of the permanent bilateral dialogue on migration.
The meeting held in Rabat is the first tangible implementation of the joint declaration adopted during the visit of the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, to Morocco on April 7, she said, adding that the meeting debated means of monitoring irregular migratory flows, safeguarding the interests of Moroccan minors in Spain, regulating regular migration.
The meeting also discussed facilitating visa formalities, she said, noting the quantitative and qualitative efforts made by Spanish consular services in Morocco to simplify and speed up visas procedures.
In a related development, head of the Center for Hispanic-Moroccan Studies, Miguel Angel Puyol, highlighted Morocco’s role in the fight against illegal immigration, saying that the North African country is taking a comprehensive and humanistic approach for the benefit of Spain and Europe.
“Morocco’s role in managing migratory flows is very important. Morocco, which also bears the brunt of illegal migration, takes a comprehensive and effective approach,” Puyol said following the meeting of the Permanent Joint Moroccan-Spanish Migration Group.
The conclusions of this meeting, which confirmed the resolve of both countries to move forward in their relationship, will give a new impetus to a “necessary and beneficial” cooperation for Spain and the whole of Europe, Puyol explained.
“Besides Spain, the European Union is also called upon to support and assist Morocco in dealing with this global phenomenon with multinational dimensions,” the expert added, arguing that joint action is fundamental to curb the maneuvers of the illegal migration mafias.
The president of the Center for Hispanic-Moroccan Studies commended the resumption of the “Marhaba” operation, scheduled for this summer after two years of interruption due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
This is a large-scale operation that has an important human component linking two friendly and neighboring peoples, he stated.
Spanish expert in Maghreb affairs, Javier Fernandez Arribas, on his part underscored that permanent collaboration between Spain and Morocco in migration flows management is “essential and indispensable.”
Urging the European Union to provide more support to both countries to address a global problem, he said the EU must play its role as an essential partner when it comes to providing the technical, human and financial resources needed to deal with a phenomenon that involves human beings (…) who face the consequences of conflicts, poverty, drought, or repression.”
The agreements reached at the Rabat meeting are of great importance with respect to strengthening mechanisms for coordination and exchange of information, police cooperation centers, liaison officers, and joint patrols,” Arribas noted.
“Relations between Spain and Morocco are strategic and encompass all sectors of common interest, especially cooperation in security, the fight against terrorism, and cooperation in the management of illegal migration,” the expert added.
According to figures disclosed during the Permanent Moroccan-Spanish Group on Migration convened Friday in Rabat under the chairmanship of Director of Migration and Border Surveillance at the Ministry of Interior, Khalid Zerouali, and Spanish Secretary of State for Migration, Jesus Perea Cortijo, Moroccan authorities have thwarted during 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 thousands of illegal migration attempts, including 14,746 in the first three months of the current year alone. Likewise, some 256 human and migrant trafficking criminal networks have been dismantled during this period, including 52 during the first quarter of 2022.
The Moroccan-Spanish permanent joint migration group met this Friday, May 6, 2022 in Rabat, for the first time in three years, to discuss ways to develop cooperation between the two countries on migration-related issues, a meeting translating that cooperation between the two countries is resuming for good.
Actually, after the meeting held at the Ministry of the Interior in Rabat Thursday, May 5, 2022, to prepare the “Marhaba 2022” operation, another meeting gathered senior officials from the two countries this Friday to discuss the issue of migration.
The meeting, convened under the chairmanship of Khalid Zerouali, Director of Migration and Border Surveillance at the Ministry of Interior,took place as part of the implementation of the roadmap developed during the visit of President of the Spanish Government Pedro Sanchez to Morocco early April 2022.
Spain was represented at the meeting by Secretary of State for Migration Jesus Perea Cortijo, Secretary of State for Security Rafael Pérez Ruiz, and Secretary of State for External and Global Affairs Angeles Moreno Bau.
During debates on migration partnership, the two sides welcomed “the resumption of their migration meetings which have always enshrined trust and shared responsibility,” a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said.
The Spanish side has thanked the Moroccan authorities for the “extensive efforts” deployed in the fight against illegal migration which have produced “tangible results,” the statement said, adding that given the shared challenges represented by the activities of migrant smuggling networks and the unstable regional environment, both parties decided to strengthen their coordination and information exchange mechanisms through renewed joint action arrangements at the level of police cooperation centers, liaison officers and joint patrols.
The two parties also expressed their willingness to continue providing “agile and flexible responses” in the fight against criminal migrant smuggling networks on the Atlantic and Western Mediterranean routes.
On border management, they stressed the need to articulate joint efforts in terms of technical and financial support to maximize resilience and operational efficiency.
In this sense, “both parties give particular importance to the increased possibilities of financial support for Morocco under the new Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union,” the joint statement said, adding that Spain, as a EU member state, “will continue to highlight the role of Morocco as a strategic partner of the EU in all areas, including migration.”
Regarding regular migration, the Joint Migration Group welcomed “the positive record” of the Moroccan-Spanish model of circular mobility and labor management, which is “one of the most solid and successful examples recognized at the European and international level.”
The two parties pledged to “continue working in this direction to establish new paths where capacity building and reintegration are key components so as to strengthen the positive effects of migration in both Moroccan and Spanish societies.”
They also reiterated their shared willingness to strengthen the prospects for cooperation to encourage controlled legal flows in coordination with all operators and stakeholders.
Recalling the contributions of the Moroccan community in Spain to the post-Covid economic recovery, Moroccan and Spanish officials pledged to work together with the aim of strengthening the integration of the communities of nationals of both countries in Spain and Morocco.
As to the issue of unaccompanied minors, the Moroccan side recalled the Royal high instructions for the repatriation of all Moroccan minors duly identified, the joint statement pointed out, noting that Morocco and Spain agreed to focus on the best interests of the minor.
On regional cooperation on migration, Morocco and Spain have committed to strengthening dialogue and close coordination during their respective presidencies of the Rabat Process in 2022 and 2023.
The two countries also agreed to convene, in June 2022, the various ad hoc joint subcommittees of the Migration Group to approve sectoral action plans.
Morocco, in the person of King Mohammed VI, is considered “Leader of the African Union on migration issues”. The Kingdom also hosts the headquarters of the African Observatory on Migration, a dedicated institution of the African Union, inaugurated in December 2020.
The two events were organized on 25 February 2022 by the project SafeJourney, co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Italian NGO Progettomondo, at the cultural center ”Les Étoiles” in Sidi Moumen in Casablanca.
The event was inaugurated by the exhibition “Entre Bleu et Jaune” by Hibatoullah Salime, which took the public on a long journey between the two coasts of the Mediterranean.Lire la suite
In Morocco, it is common to buy a work contract through a broker to realize the dream of reaching Europe. Many “scam brokers” have made a fortune at the expense of young Moroccans who dream of arriving in Germany. InfoMigrants spoke to some who fell victim to the fraud.
On various Moroccan social media sites, “H.J.” is well known as a broker who can procure employment contracts for people who dream of living and working in Germany.Lire la suite
Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, on Sunday presented before the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, held in Addis Ababa, the Report of HM King Mohammed VI, Leader on the issue of Migration, on the follow-up of the operationalization of the African Migration Observatory in Morocco.Lire la suite
Since the beginning of 2021, Moroccan police have arrested more than 12,000 people trying to leave the country using irregular forms of migration. According to their own reports, they have also dismantled 150 smuggling networks.
Morocco’s Directorate General of National Security said in a statement carried by the country’s official MAP agency that it had detained “415 organisers and mediators and 12,231 candidates for illegal immigration.”Lire la suite
Spanish police said Tuesday that they rescued 105 migrants who were adrift at sea in a small boat between the Canary Islands and the West African coast.
They had been at sea for more than two weeks but were still 440 miles from the Spanish Canary Islands and 160 miles from Nouadhibou, Mauritania.
When Spanish police arrived, many people could not walk due to exhaustion and dehydration.Lire la suite
The Spanish coast guard rescued 137 migrants who were attempting to reach the Canary Islands overnight, the emergency services said Thursday.
A pregnant woman was taken to a hospital, but the rest managed to survive the treacherous journey that has claimed hundreds of lives so far this year.Lire la suite
Spanish enclave in north Africa identifies 438 unaccompanied children and teenagers
Hundreds of children and teenagers are crammed into warehouses or sleeping rough in city parks in the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta as their fate remains up in the air days after thousands of migrants arrived in the city.Lire la suite