The Moroccan-Spanish Permanent Joint Migration Group recently held its 21st meeting in Madrid to address the bilateral partnership on this issue. As reported by the Moroccan news agency MAP, the meeting was chaired by Khalid Zerouali, Morocco's Director of Migration and Border Surveillance, and Isabel Castro Fernández, Spain's Secretary of State for Migration.
The meeting was also attended by Rafael Pérez Ruiz, Secretary of State for Security; Ángeles Moreno Bau, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and Karima Benyaich, Moroccan Ambassador in Madrid.
During the meeting, the two sides agreed to strengthen bilateral coordination to combat human trafficking mafias, illegal networks that are increasingly using violent methods that destabilise regional security. To strengthen collaboration, Moroccans and Spaniards have renewed the joint working methods of the Police Cooperation Centres.
With regard to regular migration, the two delegations praised the joint partnership on circular and labour mobility, one of the strongest models at European and international level. "The two sides committed to continue working in this direction and to establish new ways to strengthen the prospects for cooperation in order to favour controlled legal flows, in coordination with all operators and stakeholders," said a statement issued by the MAP.
Unaccompanied minors were also a main topic of the meeting. In this regard, the Moroccan delegation recalled the Royal High Instructions to repatriate all identified Moroccan minors. Likewise, both parties stressed the need to continue working on the protection of minors, analysing a plan that contemplates the return of minors backed by legal guarantees and in accordance with international treaties on the matter.
Both parties reaffirmed their commitment and willingness to continue strengthening cooperation on migration issues. To this end, they will deepen collaboration during the Moroccan presidency of the Rabat Process in 2023 and at the thematic meeting on humanised border management that both parties will chair in Marrakech on 22 and 23 June. Furthermore, in order to continue working on this issue, the two delegations agreed to convene a meeting of the different joint subcommittees of the Migration Group in the second half of 2023.
The Spanish delegation took advantage of the meeting to thank the Moroccan authorities for their significant efforts to combat illegal immigration, considering the North African country to be a reliable partner and a key player in regional security. The contribution of the Moroccan community in Spain was also highlighted, promoting cultural rapprochement between the two societies.
The Permanent Joint Moroccan-Spanish Migration Group represents an institutional framework that over the years has consolidated an exceptional migratory partnership between the two nations, becoming a model of North-South cooperation. This commission is based on trust, transparency and respect, which has made it possible to maintain channels and instruments of coordination and exchange.