№ 33 A CHANCE TO REFORM: HOW THE EU CAN SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC EVOLUTION IN MOROCCO Cover Image

№ 33 A CHANCE TO REFORM: HOW THE EU CAN SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC EVOLUTION IN MOROCCO
№ 33 A CHANCE TO REFORM: HOW THE EU CAN SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC EVOLUTION IN MOROCCO

Author(s): Susi Dennison, Nicu Popescu, José Ignacio Torreblanca
Subject(s): International relations/trade, EU-Accession / EU-DEvelopment
Published by: ECFR European Council on Foreign Relations
Keywords: Maghreb; EU and Morocco; Arab Spring;
Summary/Abstract: While Morocco is usually seen as more stable, more advanced and more democratic than many other countries in North Africa, it too has potential for unrest. Although there is no immediate prospect of a revolution as in Egypt or Tunisia, Moroccans are increasingly frustrated with the country’s veneer of democracy. They are now demanding more limits on royal power and an end to corruption and clientelism. In short, they want a king who, as a slogan of the 20th February protest movement puts it, “reigns, but does not govern”. This situation presents the EU with a different kind of challenge than those it faces in Egypt or Tunisia. With its European outlook and its close economic and commercial ties with EU states, Morocco highly values its privileged status within the EU’s southern neighbourhood. This brief, based on a research visit by the authors to Rabat in April, argues that the EU should now use the considerable leverage it has to put greater pressure on Morocco to create real democracy. The EU should put its weight behind a more inclusive constitutional commission, engage with youth movements, including Islamists, and offer better trade terms. It is in the EU’s interest to push for political reform now rather than react to a Syrian-style crackdown and instability in a few months’ time.

  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Language: English