This landmark undertaking is “a key institutional achievement. It illustrates my unwavering commitment (…) to seeing a quantum leap in the reform and modernization of our institutions”, said the Moroccan Sovereign in a message addressed to the 2nd parliamentary forum of regions convened in Rabat, Morocco’s capital city.
“It is gratifying to note, today, that the legal framework for the implementation of advanced regionalization is all but completed, and that local elected officials are already working hard to give concrete substance to the advanced regionalization process”, added the Monarch in his message read out by royal advisor Abdellatif Mennouni.
“As we speak, the objectives are set, the principles and the relevant rules are clearly defined and the stakeholders concerned are busy at work. In the coming phase, the aim will be to move up a gear and to start effectively giving substance to this historic paradigm shift”, said the King.
This is a gigantic project requiring the involvement of a vast array of actors as well as the commitment of the nation’s forces and society as a whole, explained the Monarch, noting that a keen sense of responsibility and mobilization as well as a great degree of conviction will be required throughout the implementation of the project.
The King went on to say that it is necessary to promote dialogue and interaction in order to make sure that the enormous potential offered by the institutional and legal framework is fully exploited and that benefits are maximized.
For the Sovereign, this new pedagogical exercise in responsibility and sharing, and through the adoption of novel modes of interaction that local elected officials will be able to serve as the standard-bearers for change, rise to challenges, fulfill their constituents’ aspirations and come up with the right answers to citizens’ expectations.
Regarding central government services and public administrations, the King said they are expected to re-establish relations, based on cooperation, dialogue, consultation, convergence and partnership with local governments. This dynamic will ensure the complementarity, coherence of action and synergies required for the actual implementation of advanced regionalization.
King Mohammed VI also stressed the importance of regional development programs in the development model currently being finalized, saying that local governments – especially the Regions – must fully live up to the pre-eminent role granted to them by the Constitution.
The regions should make their own contributions so as to remedy the failings of the current model, reduce regional disparities and inequalities and move forward purposefully and resolutely on the path towards social justice, underlined the Monarch.
Each region should be able to develop its own vision, provided the latter is consistent with the national development model, he added, urging local elected officials to get deeply involved in the issues relating to young Moroccans, keen to participate in community life and aspiring to dignity and betterment.
“The problems young Moroccans are facing today can be resolved only at the local level – in their neighborhood, their commune or their city”, said the Moroccan Sovereign, noting that solutions must be tailored locally to address the problems young people are facing.
Regarding the question of the scope of powers devolved to local governments, particularly regional councils, King Mohammed VI said the aim is not to overburden local governments with multiple and varied prerogatives which would only discredit them, given the inevitable shortcomings.
Instead, “it is important to make sure their powers are sufficiently precise and clear to avoid confusion and overlapping. These powers should be gradually expanded as local governments’ capabilities in terms of human and financial resources increase”, stressed the Monarch, affirming that advanced regionalization is a project in progress, which requires resolve to combat inertia, vigilance to counter conservative attitudes and continued adjustments to new socioeconomic realities.