EU and Morocco Start Negotations for Closer Trade Ties
Morocco is now the first out of four other countries to come to the negotiation table in hopes of progressing the negotiations towards the “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas” plan with the E.U. Negotiations were launched on 1 March 2013 with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane in the city of Rabat. A boost from the 200 association agreement which guaranteed tariff-free trade, the negotiations will have an overview of a deeper trade agreement as well as cover more areas not included. Some of these issues include services and public procurement, and protection for investments and new commitments on competition on intellectual property rights. This also includes a refinement of border procedures and customs in reducing conflicting and burdensome industrial standards and requirements including food safety requirements. Overall, these talks are aiming towards the reshaping of Moroccan industry to better fit into the EU as perhaps, one day a single market economy.
The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for the end of June in Brussels, and thus poses potential in the many ways in which the Moroccan Kingdom should project itself and what should be done for the general well being of the country. This is especially important because Morocco is not a resource rich monarchy and is thus very dependent on import/export as the EU’s biggest trading partner, which according to the article accounts for around 50% of the countries total trade. Thus, after this weeks article titled “The Middle East and North Africas Resilient Monarchies” which argues that regime type explains variation in political stability, we see that the muted nature of protests in Monarchies as well as Moroccans discontent being channeled into the political movement based on a “transformation without violence” is (economically) on the right track with these negotiations.
This weeks reading argues that monarchies are well suited to deter political unrest through strategic use of constitutions, formal political institutions, Islamic principals as well as informal norms, moreover, it can thus be argued that this predictability is attractive the outside investment as well. This is why it can be surely predicted that the EU and Morocco will succeed in establishing trade agreement pact with the EU. I also believe that Morocco will enforce EU methods in order to further stabilize the country from possible spillover or unrest in neighboring/regional countries in MENA who are still experiencing the ripple effect from the Arab spring.