EU – Jordan Human Rights, Governance and Democracy Subcommittee (24/03/2011)

(Brussels, 24 March 2011) The sixth round of the Human Rights, Governance and Democracy Subcommittee between Jordan and the European Union took place in Brussels today; the first since the EU agreed “an advanced status” partnership with Jordan in October 2010 and against the background of the transformation and reforms processes that are going on in the region and in Jordan.

This human rights dialogue with Jordan falls in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Jordan has been the first ENP partner to hold regular human rights subcommittee meetings with the EU. The European Union, to date, is engaged in dedicated human rights discussions with close to 40 countries around the world.

The Jordan Delegation was headed by Dr. Malek Twal - Secretary-General of the Ministry for Political Development. The EU delegation was headed by Mr. Ilkka Uusitalo - Head of the Middle East Division at the European External Action Service (EEAS). Both Delegations comprised human rights experts, respectively from the Jordanian line Ministries and from the EEAS.

The EU-Jordan human rights dialogue was held in a collaborative and open atmosphere, with candid exchanges on a wide range of issues of mutual interest and concern, especially in view of the reforms planned in Jordan most recently.

The agenda for the Human Rights, Governance and Democracy Subcommittee meeting provided for a review of the implementation of the EU-Jordan ENP Action Plan in this area. Discussions addressed home-grown reforms, including the reform of the electoral framework, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of the media, freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, women’s rights, eradication of torture and action in multilateral forums.