Will Morocco accept more returns from Member States as EU funding increases?
Question for written answer E-003005/2022
to the Commission
Charlie Weimers (ECR)
The 2021-2027 long-term budget almost doubles financial support from the EU taxpayer to Morocco in order to combat illegal migration. Over EUR 500 million is reported to be being spent, including to help the country combat illegal immigration headed for Europe. The financial package will be distributed among projects supporting the integration and protection of refugees in Morocco, as well as forced returns, police cooperation and the fight against organised crime.
In 2018 when Morocco aspired to receive more EU funds, an all-time high of over 64 000 migrants landed on Spanish shores. The EU response was a package of over EUR 140 million, and arrival numbers fell by half in 2019.
‘No one can blackmail Europe,’ Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas stated after Morocco allowed migrants to storm the EU border earlier this year. But Morocco demanded – and will reportedly receive – almost a doubling of EU funds. In return, the EU reportedly wanted specific commitments on the readmission of its nationals who had entered the continent irregularly.
Has the Commission secured commitments to help Member States return persons to Morocco, including citizens of Morocco, and if so, how will it ensure that these commitments are upheld?