The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a critical resolution against Morocco – and they are rare – over the deterioration of press freedom. It is difficult not to place it in the wake of the “Morocco Gate”. What are the consequences for diplomatic relations between the EU and Morocco?
An Embarrassing Corruption Case
As Hasni Abidi reminds us, the Maroc Gate is “a deal within a deal”, which is in the wake of the Qatar Gate: “basically, five intelligence services are behind this investigation. Several members of the European Parliament would be concerned, including Pier-Antonio Panzeri, a particularly influential former parliamentarian, who founded an NGO, “Fight Impunity”, supported by Parliament, and which he used to block any condemnation against Morocco”.
A system of corruption that would have been in place for many years, and which would aim to protect the small Maghreb country from any criticism. “Thanks to a well-crafted strategy, Morocco has escaped any major condemnation for twenty-five years on major issues, such as freedom of the press or the misuse of spyware, explains Hasni Abidi.
The Issue of Western Sahara
“Any decision concerning Western Sahara, the mother of the battles for Rabat, has also been dodged: the King of Morocco had moreover made it the determining prism in the choice of his friends, underlines Hasni Abidi. This is also what embarrasses the European Union: Morocco has very significant assets in terms of immigration control and the transmission of information on jihadists.The European institutions had therefore granted it direct aid amounting to 500 million dollars between 2022 and 2027. But Morocco wants more: it wants its full sovereignty over Western Sahara to be recognised, which the Union wants to avoid.”
This article is originally published on radiofrance.fr