Morocco has maintained relations with the CoE for several years. It is a fully-fledged member of several CoE partial agreements: the Venice Commission, the North-South Centre, the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), the Co-operation Group for the Prevention of, Protection Against and Organisation of Relief in Major Natural and Technological Disasters (EUR-OPA), the Pompidou Group and the European Audiovisual Observatory. Furthermore, it has the observer status at the European Pharmacopoeia and has ratified a number of CoE Conventions. Finally, the Moroccan Parliament enjoys the Status of Partner for Democracy with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) since 2011 and, since 2013, Morocco enjoys observer status with the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ).

The "Neighbourhood Co-operation Priorities for Morocco 2012-2014" document, approved by the Secretary General of the CoE and the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs in April 2012 allowed to further strengthen co-operation, by identifying a set of priority actions. On the basis of the concrete results achieved, political dialogue and technical co-operation with Morocco is further pursued in the framework of the “Neighbourhood Partnership” document covering 2015-2017 that was adopted by the CoE Committee of Ministers on 4 February 2015.

Most of the priorities identified have been implemented in the framework of South Programme I and II funded by the EU and implemented by the CoE. Voluntary contributions from other partners are also important source of funding for co-operation activities.

The CoE has been notably assisting Moroccan authorities with the implementation of the provisions of the Moroccan Constitution of 2011, which foresaw, among other things, the preparation of a number of organic laws, a redistribution of powers between existing institutions and the setting-up of new governing bodies. To facilitate this process, the Venice Commission supported the Moroccan authorities in organising debates in view of a future organic law on the use of Amazigh as an official language, as well as in sharing experiences and best practices with an eye to the future organic law on preliminary requests to the Constitutional Court. The CoE has also made its expertise available on some new governing bodies provided for in the Constitution, notably the Authority for Gender Equality and Combating all Forms of Discrimination and the Advisory Council for Family and Childhood Affairs.

The Moroccan Parliament, whose role in the decision-making process has been strengthened by the constitutional reform of 2011, is also actively engaged in co-operation activities with the PACE. The CoE promotes the organisation of seminars for Parliamentarians on key topics, such as the control exerted by Parliaments on Governments’ actions, the popular legislative initiative and the roles of the opposition and the majority in a Parliamentary system.

A process of reform of the Moroccan judicial system is also ongoing: in March 2013, the Charter of the reform of the judicial system was adopted. Upon request from the Moroccan authorities, the CoE has provided its input in the preparation of the Charter, as well as of key organic laws in the judicial field, through the expertise of its specialised bodies, such as the CEPEJ, the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and the Venice Commission. Furthermore, on the basis of CEPEJ tools and methodologies, the CoE co-operates with the Moroccan authorities in the implementation of specific programmes with pilot courts and training of trainers’ courses, with a view to improve court performance and the efficiency of justice.

Morocco has also committed itself to fighting corruption and money-laundering. These activities are based on the methodologies of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL). Since 2012, the CoE has started accompanying Moroccan authorities in their process of reform of the Moroccan national anti-corruption framework. In this respect, the assessment of the institutional and legal anti-corruption framework, completed in February 2014, provides the basis for the development of the Moroccan anti-corruption strategy.

In addition, the co-operation priorities provide for actions against drug abuse and drug trafficking, using the expertise of the Pompidou Group, and also action against the counterfeiting of medical products. In this respect, it is worth recalling that Morocco signed the CoE Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (Medicrime) in 2012.

Co-operation between Morocco and the CoE has also been launched on key human rights issues, such as the prevention and fight against violence against women and children, the fight against trafficking in human beings and the prevention of torture.

Co-operation activities target also civil society. The setting-up of the Moroccan Citizens School of Political Studies and its full integration into the CoE network of Schools of Political Studies have allowed to train young leaders - decision-makers, parliamentary administrators and parliamentarians, diplomats, journalists and representatives of civil society – on key issues related to human rights and democracy as well as to promote an exchange of views and good practices with students from other Schools. Furthermore, the CoE has promoted the active involvement of young people in democratic processes,

Morocco is a member of the North-South Centre since 2009 and participates regularly in the Centre’s activities, notably in the fields of women’s rights, youth and intercultural dialogue.

Besides the bilateral co-operation, Morocco is also involved in CoE regional activities aimed at promoting South-South co-operation.

Finally, Morocco attends regularly CoE seminars and activities aimed at promoting CoE Conventions.


Conseil de l'Europe - Bureau de la Direction Générale des Programmes

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