The forum "Andalusia, Euro-Mediterranean nexus Spain-Morocco", organised by the Junta de Andalucía and Atalayar entre dos orillas, whose objective was to analyse Spanish-Moroccan relations, highlighting the role of the Spanish autonomous community, has come to an end. This event, which highlighted bilateral economic and commercial ties, marked the start of the "Mediterranean Encounters", a series of conferences to be held in Spain and Morocco over the next few years.
At the end of this first meeting, Enrique Millo, Secretary General for External Action, European Union and Cooperation of the Andalusian Regional Government, presented the conclusions.
"The work has been fruitful, it has been very worthwhile," Millo began. Likewise, during his speech, he stressed once again that Morocco and Spain "are destined to work together, to cooperate". But not only in the commercial-economic sphere, but also in the cultural and educational spheres.
In this regard, Millo highlighted the important role of Andalusia in the Mediterranean partnership. "Andalusia represents the most propitious setting for dialogue between Spanish-Moroccan civil society in a welcoming and recognisable family framework," he said. "Andalusia contributes to the creation of an area of prosperity and well-being," he added.
The Secretary General for External Action, European Union and Cooperation of the Junta de Andalucía called for both Moroccans and Andalusians to work together in cooperation. "We have to get to know each other better, there is still a great deal of discontent," he explained. In this context, he proposed as an example that Morocco and Andalusia offer joint tourism opportunities at a global level.
Likewise, the need to specify clear and defined projects that allow for effective collaboration through important agreements between Andalusia and Moroccan regions, following the example of Oporto and Galicia, was also highlighted.
For this reason, it is necessary to promote public-private collaboration for the benefit of bilateral relations, as well as to provide SMEs with all kinds of support, training and knowledge so that they can form part of the links between the two countries.
In addition to business and the public sector, citizens are essential. "We must take advantage of the opportunities for Moroccan citizens in Andalusia and in Europe, and for Andalusians in Morocco and on the African continent," said Millo.
Within citizenship, the role of young people stands out, who will be able to enjoy great opportunities if talent is promoted on both shores. Millo mentioned, for example, the creation of a chair in scientific research that would give an image of knowledge, innovation and modernisation.
Furthermore, the conclusions reaffirm that the interests of Spain and Morocco are complementary and strategic, while the bilateral partnership is of great importance for Europe and the Maghreb. Likewise, Andalusia, Spain and the European continent must join the Moroccan initiatives within the framework of the Abraham Agreements, a historic milestone that has marked a new era in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
Within this process of cooperation at Mediterranean level, the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation - an institution that collaborated in the meeting - plays a decisive role, as do the Mediterranean Prizes, which must become a reference in all areas.
To conclude, Millo stressed that bilateral communication must be "rigorous and truthful", as it is key to generating knowledge and promoting understanding, trust, respect and loyalty. Likewise, it is through communication and knowledge that we can rid ourselves of prejudices.
"The continuity of the exchange of ideas, projects and experiences gathered in conferences such as this one is essential to achieve the consolidation of Spanish-Moroccan relations through Andalusia," he concluded.