"You can count on the European Union as the main and the most reliable supporter for Jordan and Jordanians. Now, as we have been in the past, and as we will be in the future," High Representative Federica Mogherini said during her visit to Jordan on Monday, her last visit to the region before the end of the mandate.
"This support is going to stay, because we recognise the challenges and we recognise your determination to address those challenges in the most effective and the most correct manner," the High Representative added.
Mogherini announced a proposal to provide Jordan with a third micro-financial assistance programme of €500 million, now on the table for approval of the European Parliament and the European Council.
The assistance programme will also be part of the EU support to the Jordanian government's reform agenda.
The High Representative commended Jordan and the Jordanians for their resilience in very challenging circumstances and their collective commitment to address the country's difficult economic situation and the impact of the Syria crisis on the economy of Jordan.
At the Brussels III Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region in Brussels last march, donors collectively allocated €8.3 billion for the region. Two thirds of this money comes from the European Union and its Member States and – among other actions – goes to support Jordan and Jordanians.
In the last eight years, the EU supported Jordan with €2.2 billion with an envelope of projects that have covered different sectors." I want to stress this because this has not only been a support for the handling of the refugee crisis in Jordan, so it has not only been focused on supporting the way in which Jordan has welcomed Syrian refugees," the High Representative clarified.
"We mainly focus on the socio-economic cooperation and the creation of job opportunities, because we know very well that the resilience of a country is based also on the material conditions of its population. We know that very well from our own experience in Europe and this is why we want to propose additional support particularly on this," Mogherini said.
The European Union and Jordan have an intense and strong partnership, with the two countries communicating and coordinating frequently every time there is an issue that concerns both the European Union and Jordan in the region – "our common region" as the High Representative called it.
"For me it is only natural to be here on my last official visit to the region in my current capacity, in a partner country that has been a pillar of wisdom and stability in the region in an extremely challenging environment," Mogherini said.
Among the issues the High Representative discussed with Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, the Syria crisis and the Middle East Peace Process stood prominently.
"Now that the long awaited Constitutional committee has been agreed, it is more important than ever to give a genuine chance to the Geneva Process to restart under the UN auspices and have a restart of political negotiations that can be Syrian-owned and Syrian-led," Mogherini said. "We see the formation of the Constitutional Committee as a first step – a very important one, but still a first step – on the implementation of the roadmap that has been agreed in the UN framework."
On the Middle East Peace Process, Mogherini said the EU and Jordan share the sense of urgency – and sometimes the sense of frustration when seeing developments on the ground – but also the same approach when it comes to a negotiated two-state solution with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, Israel and Palestine, as the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties and to achieve a long-term, sustainable peace in the region. The High Representative thanked Jordan for the key role played on this and for Jordan's special role as custodian of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem.