The European commission is planning to open talks with Morocco to ease visas procedures for short term visitors, students, researchers and business professionals.
“This is a very concrete and important step in the cooperation between the EU and Morocco. Easier access to visas will reinforce the social and economic development and mutual understanding between our countries and people”, said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.
“Recent decisions to establish a new migration and asylum policy in Morocco are yet another positive signal for our cooperation”, she added.
“I very much welcome the far-reaching recommendations contained in the recent report of the National Human Rights Council in Morocco to transform Morocco’s policies and practices on migration and asylum to be fairer and in full respect of human rights”, stressed the European Commissioner for Home Affairs.
«I welcome this first step and I stand ready to support the effective implementation of this report’s recommendations. In the framework of the Mobility Partnership, the EU has already committed significant support to Morocco to establish a national asylum system and to better address trafficking in human beings”, she added.
The EU and Morocco have signed last June a «mobility partnership» accord. It is in this context that the European Commission is planning “to open negotiations for facilitating the issuing of short-stay visas to Moroccan citizens”, said Mrs. Cecilia Malmström.
Some of the proposed facilitations are general for all applicants and other will benefit certain groups of people, particularly students, researchers and business professionals.
The visa facilitations include the simplification of documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the visa application for certain categories of applicants, the possibility of issuing multiple-entry visas with a long period of validity, the waiving/reducing of the handling fees for specific categories of travellers, set deadlines for processing visa applications, as well as a possible exemption from the visa obligation for holders of diplomatic and service passports.
Morocco is 7th country in the world in terms of the number of Schengen visas issued. The visa facilitation negotiations with Morocco will start once the Council gives the Commission the nod.
The EU-Morocco Mobility Partnership provides for a series of initiatives which are designed to ensure that the movement of persons is managed as effectively as possible. It literally covers all issues related to migration: from how to maximize the impact of migration on development to mobility, regular migration and integration, irregular migration and border management, trafficking in human beings and asylum.