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Brussels, 3 April 2008

European Neighbourhood Policy – JORDAN

EU–Jordan relations: basic facts

The EU-Jordan Association Agreement entered into force in 2002 and aims to create a free trade area between the EU and Jordan over 12 years and to help increase economic growth and business.

The Action Plan was adopted in June 2005. Several sub-committee meetings have been activated to monitor implementation of the action plan for the different sectors. Jordan was the first ENP partner to establish a sub-committee on human rights and governance.

Major developments in 2007 and overall assessment

Jordan is an active and constructive partner in the ENP, showing a strong commitment to a wide range of social and economic reforms and taking steps towards political reform.

In 2007 Jordan has taken measures to enhance women’s participation in public life. The new Municipality Law reserves 20% of municipal council seats for women. The new Prime Minister has appointed four women in his cabinet and the first woman was appointed Chief of Court.

Jordan is reforming its education sector to improve universal and equal education for all segments of society, including in rural areas. In August 2007 Jordan decided to open the doors of its public schools to all Iraqi children in the country, regardless of their residency status.

Jordan and the EU considerably enhanced energy cooperation including through the signature, in October 2007, of a Joint Declaration. In December 2007 Jordan adopted an energy master plan for the period until 2020. It decided to put greater emphasis on the use of renewable energy sources and expressed the wish to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Significant progress was made in public finance management, improvement of the business environment and financial sector reforms. Several banking supervision regulations and instructions were adopted during 2007. Jordan decreased the time to start a business and the number of business start-up procedures. These efforts should be complemented with the adoption of a coherent legal framework for investment and taxation to attract more foreign investment.

On reform of the public sector, some Ministries, such as the Ministry of Environment have proceeded with successful internal reforms. Those initiatives could serve as inspiration for a clear effort across the public sector as a whole.

The EU is supporting reforms in Jordan by

  • Facilitating the reduction of the budget deficit by increasing revenues and better managing expenditure. With Community support to fiscal reform, the fight against tax evasion and the reform of the tax administration led to an increase of revenues.
  • Helping to achieve universal and equal education for all segments of society, especially in underprivileged areas, through the provision of budgetary support for the reform of the education sector. With community assistance, Jordan is providing early childhood education in rural areas and supporting economically disadvantaged families. In 2007 additional support was given to help Jordan absorb the influx of Iraqi students.
  • Promoting gender equality, democratisation and protection of human rights by strengthening the role of civil society organizations. The Commission is helping the government to consult civil society more effectively and provides direct support to organisations that promote women’s participation in political and economic life, labour rights, awareness raising on human rights.
  • Helping to improve good governance through technical assistance in support of the Jordanian anti-corruption strategy by setting-up an anti-corruption commission, as well as providing advice to improve its external audit capacity in line with international and EU standards.
  • Helping the Ministry of Environment to set up good environmental governance by improving the relevant institutional and legislative frameworks, at national and governorate level.
  • Building links between the Jordanian and European researchers, so they can work together in international research projects.
  • Helping to develop trade between the EU and Jordan by facilitating convergence with EU standards e.g. on industrial goods, to improve access of these products to the EU market and by supporting the modernisation of the services sector, as well as providing support to improve the competitiveness of Jordanian companies and their performance in accessing export markets.
  • Strengthening Jordan's energy policy with a view to the progressive integration of the Jordanian energy market into that of the EU, and consolidate the policy of sustainable development in the Jordanian energy sector.
  • Helping Jordan it its efforts to stimulate local development and empowerment of governments at municipal and governorate levels.

Assistance to Jordan

In 2007, €62 million in Community assistance was allocated to Jordan (€15 million devoted to private sector development; €42.5 million to public finance reform; and €4.5 million for a de-mining programme).

The overall allocation for 2007-2010 is €265 million, under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument.

The Communication from the Commission to the Parliament and the Council Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007 (3 April 2008) and a country report on Jordan are available at

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