Exposed: How Morocco lobbies EU for its Western Sahara claim – euobserver.com

Exposed: How Morocco lobbies EU for its Western Sahara claim – euobserver.com

A few square metres of office space inside the Brussels offices of lobby firm Hill+Knowlton Strategies is home to an international foundation fronting for the Moroccan state.

The EuroMedA Foundation, inaugurated over the summer, is the brainchild of French socialist MEP Gilles Pargneaux, and has the aim to create a forum for discussion on how to bridge widening gaps between Africa and the European Union on issues like migration and climate change.

  • Thousands of Saharawi refugees live in the Algerian desert (Photo: DG ECHO)

«It was a personal proposition from me – and has nothing to do with Morocco,» Pargneaux told this website on Tuesday (20 November), adding that the foundation is also not in any way linked to his work as an MEP.

But in reality, it fits a broader effort to sway a strategic upcoming European Parliament vote to extend the controversial trade liberalisation agreement between Morocco and the European Union.

The parliament’s lead negotiator on the trade deal, French liberal MEP Patricia Lalonde, is also on the EuroMedA board along with other former Moroccan state ministers and a top ranking official in Morocco’s ministry of agriculture.

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Origen: Exposed: How Morocco lobbies EU for its Western Sahara claim