This own-initiative opinion has been elaborated with a view to presenting it to the EU-Morocco Summit that will be held during the Spanish Presidency in 2010. It evaluates EU-Morocco relations, in the context of the Advanced Status that Morocco is in the process of developing in relation to the EU.
In the work carried out by Morocco towards achieving an "advanced status", the EESC values the efforts that this country is making to remain one of the EU's most important partners in the region.
In the opinion, the EESC recognises the Moroccan government's commitment to integrate the Community acquis into its legislation despite Morocco not being an EU Member State.
The EESC believes that the full potential of the relationship with Morocco, in all its aspects, has not been sufficiently developed. It therefore considers that reforms must be pushed forward in order to open up new sectors to trade in services and investment. It is necessary to promote the development of businesses on both sides facilitating institutional relations, creating a favourable climate for business activity and promoting forums for dialogue. Bilateral cooperation must be stepped up in external initiatives of common interest, particularly with the other countries in the Mediterranean area with an eye to better regional integration, from both the economic and social and environmental points of view.
Furthermore, it is vital to ensure the participation of civil society in the implementation of these tasks. In this connection, the EESC is firmly in favour of the creation of an economic and social council in Morocco in order to strengthen the effectiveness of consultation that is based on the principles of representativeness and independence.