Morocco. In January, the European Parliament approved a
new trade agreement between Morocco and the EU on trade in
agricultural products. According to
CountryAAH, the agreement was an attempt to
circumvent the decision taken by the European Court of
Justice in 2017. It was then established that the EU and
Morocco's previous trade agreements were not valid, as it
included products from Western Sahara even though Western
Sahara was not part of Morocco. According to the media, the
new trade agreement between the EU and Morocco contained
special additions which meant that products from Western
Sahara could also be included in the agreement. Another
agreement on fishing was agreed in the European Parliament
in February. It included Western Saharan waters and was
approved by 415 votes against 189. The European Parliament's
decision was condemned by the Western Saharan independence
In March, thousands of teachers demonstrated for better
working conditions outside Parliament in the capital, Rabat.
Among other things, the teachers wanted pensions like other
government employees. A strike was also announced. However,
it was canceled after a meeting between officials and the
Ministry of Education had been arranged.
In connection with a second meeting with the ministry,
which would have been held in April, new protests were
canceled and over 70 injured people were taken to hospitals.
The conflict affected around 55,000 teachers.
Around 40 activists who participated in the protest
movement Al-Hirak al-Shaabi were sentenced in April to
prison sentences of up to 20 years.
Later that month, thousands of people gathered in Rabat
to protest against the judges. It was in the area around the
Rifbergen, where a predominantly Berber population lives,
that the protests took off in 2016. The activists have
demanded economic and social improvements. Their protests
were stopped by the authorities and violent clashes erupted
in 2016 and 2017. Between 400 and 500 activists are believed
to have been arrested since then. Some of them have been
During the year, Morocco came in second on the
international emissions change Climate Change Performance
Index (CCPI). According to CCPI, Morocco had increased its
share of renewable energy over the past five years. Media
stated that Morocco was close to reaching the country's
target of 42% renewable energy by 2020 and 52% by 2030.
These targets have been set by King Muhammad VI, who is also
behind the new plant Ouarzazate Solar Power Station. It is
located in the Sahara desert and is said to be the world's
largest thermal solar power plant. The power plant is
expected to supply more than 1 million people with
In June, Parliament passed a new law that officially gave
the Berber language the same status as Arabic. With the new
law, which was provisionally confirmed as early as 2011, the
Berbers gained important recognition after a long struggle.
In July, King Muhammad VI celebrated 20 years on the
throne. Prior to the anniversary, he gave a speech in which
he listed successful investments in renewable energy and
infrastructure such as highways and highways. At the same
time, he regretted that not all social strata had been part
of the improvements. In connection with the anniversary,
4,764 prisoners were pardoned.
Three men were sentenced to death in July after admitting
the marked murders of two young Scandinavian women in the
Atlas Mountains in December last year. The sentence was
expected to be converted to life imprisonment since the
death penalty has not been enforced in Morocco since 1993.
According to the indictment, the main suspected men had
moved to an area near the mountain village of Imlil with the
aim of killing tourists. In a video posted on social media,
the men could be seen swearing the IS terror group. A fourth
man, who left the crime scene before the women were
attacked, also appeared in the video. He was sentenced in
October to the death penalty. In addition, 20 men received
between five and 30 years in prison for being included in
the same terror cell as the four men.
In connection with the murder, another film was spread on
social media. It was a bestial movie that showed parts of
the murder of one of the women. In Denmark, several people
were convicted of sharing the film online.
In October, a government transformation was made at King
Muhammad VI's request. According to the Reuters news agency,
the number of ministers was reduced to 23 while several were
replaced. According to Reuters, the king sought a new model
to combat poverty and regional and social inequalities.