Rabat — Now that the objectives are set, the principles and the relevant rules are clearly defined and the stakeholders concerned are busy at work. In the coming phase, the aim will be to move up a gear and to start effectively giving substance to this historic paradigm shift, said HM King Mohammed VI.
"Advanced regionalization is a key institutional achievement. It illustrates my unwavering commitment - since my accession to the throne of my glorious ancestors - to seeing a quantum leap in the reform and modernization of our institutions. We should therefore give it our undivided attention," said the Sovereign in a message sent to the second parliamentary forum of regions, which opened on Thursday in Rabat.
This is a gigantic project requiring the involvement of a vast array of actors as well as the commitment of the nation's forces and society as a whole, underlined HM the king in the message, read by advisor to the Sovereign Abdellatif Mennouni.
HM the King added that a keen sense of responsibility and mobilization as well as a great degree of conviction will be required throughout the implementation of the project. It is just as necessary to persevere and promote dialogue and interaction in order to make sure that the enormous potential offered by the institutional and legal framework is fully exploited and that benefits are maximized.
In this regard, the Sovereign called on local elected officials to adopt this pedagogical exercise in responsibility and sharing as well as novel modes of interaction to serve as the standard-bearers for change, rise to challenges, fulfil their constituents' aspirations and come up with the right answers to citizens' expectations.
HM the King also called on central government services and public administrations to re-establish relations, based on cooperation, dialogue, consultation, convergence and partnership with local governments.
"Only then will it be possible to ensure the complementarity, coherence of action and synergies required for the actual implementation of advanced regionalization, which means so much to me," said the Sovereign.
HM the King recommended to the participants in this forum that their debate gives due importance to some key issues that must also be taken into account by the government, mentioning in this regard regional development programs that should be part of the development model currently being finalized, local governments - especially the Regions - which must fully live up to the pre-eminent role granted to them by the Constitution and make their own contributions so as to remedy the failings of the current model, in order to reduce regional disparities and inequalities and move forward purposefully and resolutely on the path towards social justice.
"Each region should be able to develop its own vision, provided the latter is consistent with the national development model," noted the Sovereign, who urged local elected officials to get deeply involved in the issues relating to young Moroccans.
"The problems young Moroccans are facing today can be resolved only at the local level - in their neighborhood, their commune or their city," said HM the King, stressing the importance of dealing with the question of the scope of powers devolved to local governments, particularly regional councils.
Regarding governance, HM the King called on the participants to produce a more precise, practical and measurable concept during their consultations and reflection and, at all costs, to avoid trivializing. "This means that, as far as voters and the general public are concerned, there is a need to explain and educate, so that the importance of governance and the extent of the efforts to be made can be properly understood," stressed the Sovereign.
A project like that of advanced regionalization is necessarily a work in progress. It also requires resolve to combat inertia, vigilance to counter conservative attitudes and responsiveness to be able to adapt, adjust or redress the course of action, concluded HM the King.