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The European Union and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan recently agreed on a number of actions strengthening their relations on political, security, trade and cooperation matters.
The EU-Jordan longstanding partnership and common challenges in the political, security and economic areas were among the topics discussed by the High Representative and H. M. King Abdullah II, as well as regional developments and their impact on Jordan. This meeting also provided an opportunity to reaffirm the EU’s strong support to the country and commitment to further broadening and strengthening EU-Jordan excellent cooperation.
King Abdullah II was received by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker accompanied by Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, and by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
Earlier this month in Amman actions aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two parties were discussed during the 11th EU-Jordan Association Committee.
Among them is notably yesterday's decision to extend the EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities until the end of 2020. The strengthened framework and the enhanced mutual commitments set up in the EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities of 2016 enables the two parties to focus on priority topics in three key areas of their relationship: economic stability and growth; democratic governance, the rule of law, human rights; security/counter terrorism. As such, the Partnership Priorities also constitute the basis of EU programming actions.
The EU and Jordan also decided to introduce a number of far-reaching amendments to the rules of origin scheme set up in December 2017 to boost Jordan's exports to the EU, and at the same time improve access by Syrian refugees to legal employment. These amendments will further relax the criteria required by the scheme, and will thus increase the number of companies operating in Jordan that will be able to benefit from the scheme. They will also extend the scheme by an additional four years, until the end of December 2030.
In the area of research and innovation, an Implementing Arrangement of the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) was recently signed. Jordan’s participation in the PRIMA is a major achievement in bilateral cooperation in the field of scientific research. The signing of the Implementing Arrangement will enable Jordan to concretely integrate an ambitious agenda for jointly funded research in key areas of water management and its implications on agriculture and food production.
To support Jordan in boosting its economic growth and strengthening its security, a new programme worth €41 million has been adopted. The programmes will help innovative Jordanian businesses scale up their activities through better access to know-how and financing, enabling them to create more job opportunities for citizens, as well as support Jordan in controlling and managing its borders in an integrated manner, ensuring security and facilitating trade while guaranteeing respect for the rule of law and human rights.
The EU and Jordan also agreed to establish a framework for the participation of Jordan in EU crisis management operations, with a view to signing an agreement in 2019 With the conclusion of the agreement, Jordanian personnel will have the possibility of joining EU civilian and military missions and operations. Jordan will be the first country in the region to be granted this possibility.
During the meeting, the HRVP also reiterated the EU’s continued strong political and financial support to Jordan in facing the consequences of the Syria crisis, amounting to over €2 billion in EU assistance since the beginning of crisis.
In addition to bilateral support, the EU Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis is particularly active in Jordan, allowing the EU to deliver on its 2018 pledges made in the 2017 and 2018 Brussels Conferences on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.