Migration : Spain calls the EU to «urgently» release aid promised to Morocco

Visiting Brussels, Spain’s Secretary of State for Migration Consuelo Rumi has urged the European executive to grant Morocco, before March, the 140 million euros.

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Spain’s Secretary of State for Migration Consuelo Rumi./Ph. DR

Spain has asked the European Commission to «urgently» release the financial aid promised to Morocco to address irregular migration in response to increased migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean Route.

The Spanish Secretary of State for Migration Consuelo Rumi was behind this call. On Tuesday, the senior official urged the European executive to grant Rabat, before March, the 140 million euros that the European Union had pledged to the Kingdom last year, reports MAP news agency quoting Spanish media.

Rumí made these statements after a two-day visit to Brussels during which she met with European leaders, including the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, and European Commissioner for EU neighborhood policy Johannes Hahn.

Speaking after her visit, Rumi stated that the 140 million euros granted by Brussels «are not enough» to Morocco which, in addition to fighting against human trafficking mafias, is setting up integration policies for sub-Saharan migrants.

Rumí said that she and Hahn share the same viewpoint regarding the fact that «Morocco must be a strategic partner of the EU not only in the field of migration».

Rumi's multiple calls

Rumi announced earlier this month that she would fly to Brussels to enquire about the money the European Union is granting Morocco. The body responded in a letter sent on January the 4th, stressing that it has been working «on the operation with the Spanish authorities».

At the time Rumi declared that «Spain will be Morocco’s voice in the EU». The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn said that Morocco was granted €70 million by the European Union.

The Austrian politician responded to the Spain's secretary of state for migration’s anger who blamed Brussels for delaying the €140 million committed by the EU to Morocco in migration-related assistance.

In a letter sent to the Spanish senior official, Hahn explained that «there was no delay» and that the European Union «has taken the necessary steps to deliver the assistance on time».

He recalled that €70 million were given to El Othmani’s government to manage the country’s borders and that «€30 million of this sum were granted directly to Morocco on December the 20th».

The rest was handed down to the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (based in Madrid) on December the 13th. The association is leading projects related to borders managing.

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