Morocco’s already strong ties with the Council of Europe were enhanced in 2011 with the creation of the Organisation’s Neighbourhood Policy. Now a fully-fledged member of various Council of Europe partial agreements such as the Venice Commission or the North-South Centre, Morocco enjoys an observer status at the European Pharmacopoeia and the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ).
Since 2011, the Moroccan Parliament is endowed with the Status of Partner for Democracy with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which enables active participation in PACE’s activities. Furthermore Morocco has ratified a number of Council of Europe Conventions, most recently the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS 185) and its Additional Protocol (ETS 189) in July 2018. Such compromises fall in line with the shared effort to create a common legal space between the Southern Mediterranean and the European continent.
The Neighbourhood Co-operation Priorities for Morocco 2012-2014, approved by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs in April 2012, followed by the Neighbourhood Partnership 2015-2017 adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 4 February 2015, further reinforced co-operation by identifying a set of priority actions.
The tangible results achieved form a basis to further pursue and consolidate political dialogue and technical co-operation with Morocco, in the framework of the Neighbourhood Partnership 2018-2021 adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 21 March 2018. The priorities jointly identified for this new phase of co-operation cover areas where co-operation was already initiated in previous phases, as well as new sectors in line with the national reform agenda, for example anti-discrimination, the implementation of the reform of justice, and human rights training for legal professionals through the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP Programme).
Besides the bilateral co-operation, Morocco is regularly involved in Council of Europe regional activities, which encompass a wide array of thematic areas aimed at promoting North-South and South-South co-operation, dialogue and peer-to-peer exchanges, namely through the South Programme.
The South Programme I, II and currently III have been instrumental to the implementation of most priorities identified in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy. All three programmes are funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe. Voluntary contributions from other partners, such as Council of Europe member States, constitute additional major sources of funding for co-operation activities.
The Council of Europe Office in Rabat, in place since 2014, plays a crucial role in the co-ordination and implementation of field activities.