EU Ambassador to Morocco Claudia Wiedey praised the cooperation between Morocco and the European Union during the coronavirus pandemic, “proof” of a “very strong” partnership. she said Wednesday at a press conference.
Taking stock of the cooperation between the two partners for the year 2020, the Ambassador welcomed the joint work and the resilience that characterized this difficult year, marked by the coronavirus pandemic.
A fund of 456 million euros of subsidies intended in particular for the health sector, for vulnerable households (especially those whose income comes from the informal sector) during the period of confinement, has helped Morocco to cope with emergency to covid-19 crisis
Claiming that the EU and Morocco had discussions from the start of the health crisis to find ways to act, Claudia Wiedey said that releasing funds for the fight against the coronavirus so quickly has not been very relaxed, affirming that there have been teams at both Moroccan and European level who have worked tirelessly to achieve “this promise” which has demonstrated “extraordinary cooperation”.
A solid partnership and a shared vision
“For us it was not a question of getting closer to his partner, his friend, it was a question of solidarity but also a proof, an obviousness, of a partnership which is very strong, which is not related to everyday things like trade or economic issues, but which goes much further, ”she said.
And to add that “Morocco made very early, very important, very courageous decisions, and the creation of the Support Fund for the fight against the coronavirus at the initiative of His Majesty, was really a decision with a clear vision. and crucial at this time, ”she said while affirming that at that time, in March 2020, many underestimated the extent of the pandemic and believed that it would end at most towards summer.
“I believe that (Morocco) was one of the first countries which took such a decision (to create a solidarity fund) to base its fight against covid, which we had not yet taken in its full dimension “, At that time, estimated the ambassador who also underlined that despite the fact that we are” not yet out of the crisis but we start 2021 with good prospects “.
A rapid and urgent response to the pandemic
The year “2020 has been a remarkable year in which we have worked together in an exceptional and efficient way and we are happy and proud of the result that we have achieved”, summarized the ambassador.
This EU injection into the Mohammed VI Fund represented 50% of the new health sector support program, including 77.7 million euros (about 855 million dirhams) which were urgently redirected to fight the pandemic .
This fund made it possible to purchase medical and hospital supplies, namely 1,000 resuscitation beds, 550 ventilators, more than 800,000 test kits and radiology equipment, as well as aid for the constitution of stock of drugs, in particular treatment for chloroquine base.
“This health crisis has once again demonstrated, if it were necessary, that the historic partnership established with Morocco, based on mutual trust and the solidity of its foundations, has enabled an unprecedented rapid reaction from the European Union towards its partner. Beyond its human and solidarity dimensions, it is called upon to strengthen itself further in its principles of mutual respect, co-ownership, responsibility and transparency ”, indicates a press release from the European Union in Morocco citing the ambassador.
No big impact on EU-Morocco trade
If the coronavirus pandemic has had many negative impacts for all countries of the world, in particular by cutting off some growth points, it has also had an impact on trade between States.
But for Ambassador Claudia Wiedey, between Morocco and the European Union, “there was not a big change in trade”, judging that what matters is the performance of the economy as a whole, the rate of growth. This data was also confirmed by the head of the commercial section who indicated that there had been an impact but no collapse.
The European Union (EU) is Morocco’s leading partner, with 35 billion euros in trade in
2020 (15 billion € of Moroccan exports to the EU representing 60% of Morocco’s foreign trade and 20 billion of EU exports to Morocco) and Morocco is the EU’s leading partner in the Mediterranean South but in 2020, trade has actually declined compared to the last three years.
Nevertheless, Ms. Wiedey judged that the impact that was felt the most is on tourism, “it affects Morocco strongly, and also some member countries (of the EU) which are more tourism oriented. that others “.