The European Union and Morocco have agreed to renew a partnership on immigration aimed at fighting human trafficking following the rise of "new" and "very violent" strategies adopted by criminal networks with the tragedy of Melilla on June 24. The decision was announced by the European Commission on July 8.
Two weeks after the migrant tragedy in the Spanish enclave of Melilla on June 24, the EU and Morocco agreed to renew a partnership on immigration aimed at fighting human trafficking.
It follows in particular "the rise of new, extremely violent strategies, adopted by these criminal networks," according to a statement.
The announcement was made on Friday, July 8, by the European Commission.
The new anti-trafficking partnership was discussed in Rabat by the European Union commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, the foreign ministers of Spain, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and Morocco, Abdelouafi Laftit.
It provides for support in border management, strengthening police cooperation, an awareness campaign on the dangers of illegal immigration and boosted cooperation with EU agencies.
Melilla tragedy 'shows the violence of trafficking networks'
During the meeting, Johansson, Grande-Marlaska and Laftit discussed the results of their cooperation based on shared responsibilities on migration and expressed sadness for "each death" of those who "tried to enter illegally", including "during recent painful events on June 24, 2022," according to a statement issued by the Commission.
Along with the human tragedy, these events showed the "dangerous and violent" nature of " human trafficking networks" and the risks they are willing to take, it said. Investigations are ongoing to clarify the circumstances of these incidents.
At the same time, the commissioner and two ministers welcomed with favor the inquiry commission set up by the Moroccan National Human Rights Council.
On June 24, some 2,000 migrants tried to cross into Melilla to seek asylum in the European Union: the sudden flow caused a fatal rush and left hundreds wounded. At least 37 migrants died falling from the border, trapped in a stampede or as a consequence of actions undertaken by border police.
Over 26,000 irregular departures blocked
Morocco is a strategic partner for the Union, the European executive stressed, recalling how it blocked over 26,000 irregular departures and dismantled about 100 trafficking networks in the first part of this year.
Partnerships with countries of origin, transit and destination are forged in connection with the new pact on migration and asylum to fight human trafficking and deal with the underlying causes of migration flows.