In the framework of the project “Support to the development of the role of the Parliament in consolidating democracy in Morocco” funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe, the 2nd meeting of the technical Steering Committee was held on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at the Chamber of Representatives - Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The partners welcomed the success of the launching phase of the project (June-December 2021) and reiterated their solemn commitment to capitalise on this phase in order to consolidate the rule of law and citizen participation and succeed in the implementation of the operational phase of the project.
Carmen Morte, Head of the Council of Europe office in Morocco, stressed the importance of this tripartite partnership between the Council of Europe through the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Moroccan Parliament and the European Union. She also congratulated the Moroccan Parliament for its commitment and efforts in the consolidation of the rule of law and democracy in Morocco.
PACE Secretary General Despina Chatzivassiliou welcomed the very fruitful cooperation between the PACE and the Moroccan Parliament within the framework of the Partnership for Democracy with the Moroccan Parliament since 2011 and the importance of the participation of the Moroccan delegation in the work of PACE. She also stressed the relevance of the themes addressed during the implementation activities namely women's participation in political life, methodologies of evaluation of public policies and the opening of the Parliament to citizens and civil society in order to build a relationship of trust.
Najib El Khadi, Secretary General of the Chamber of Representatives insisted on the quality of the partnership between the Moroccan Parliament, the EU and the Council of Europe, which is, he said, a partnership based on mutual respect, the spirit of sharing and exchange as well as the common will of the stakeholders in order to consolidate the rule of law and to accompany the efforts provided by the parliamentary institution in terms of control, evaluation and monitoring of public policies and the opening of the Parliament to the citizens. He also emphasised the quality of the debate and the exchange of good practices during the activities organised as well as the relevance of the themes that outline the roadmap of the priorities of parliamentary work.
Severin Strohal, Head of the Cooperation Section at the Delegation of the EU in Morocco, was also pleased with the success of the start-up phase of the project and congratulated the two chambers for the dynamics created through their commitment and active participation in the implementation of the project. He also stressed the importance of including civil society and citizens in the dialogue through the establishment of several committees such as the Committee for motions and petitions.
Grazia Alessandra Siino, Project Manager at PACE presented the different achievements of the start-up phase, the work in progress as well as the media coverage. She also presented the Work Plan for the period January-June 2022, focusing on themes that are equally important for the Moroccan Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Union, namely: evaluation of public policies, Digital Parliament, Open Data, petitions and motions and the Parliamentary diplomacy.
Mohammed Doukha, General Councilor in charge of international cooperation at the Chamber of Representatives, Nahid Bennani, General Councilor at the Chamber of Councilors, Philippe Bourasse, Resident Councilor for the institutional twinning project "Support to the Chamber of Councilors of Morocco" and Alessandro Mancini, Programme Manager at PACE also attended the meeting.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Work Plan for the period January-June 2022 prepared by the respective secretariats (PACE and the Moroccan Parliament) through different consultation sessions.