Brussels, 12 May 2010
ENP Country Progress Report 2009 – Jordan
The Commission published on 12 May 2010 the so-called neighbourhood package, consisting of an overall assessment of five years of implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), 12 country reports on developments in 2009, including one on Jordan, and a sector report.
Overall, in 2009 progress was made in the area of governance and transparency, with the start of work of the Ombudsman office and the adoption of a code of conduct streamlining the relationship between the Government and the media. Some progress was also made in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as women’s protection against domestic violence and equal treatment, the rights of the child and the fight against human trafficking. Moreover, some progress was made in the fields of transport, renewable energy, and science and technology.
In November 2009 King Abdullah dissolved the Parliament and called for anticipated elections. A new Government was appointed in December, tasked with an ambitious reform programme notably touching upon economic recovery and development of key sectors such as energy and transport, good governance, transparency and efficiency of the public service, decentralisation and citizens' participation.
Political dialogue and governance, including CFSP
Jordan's Ombudsman (appointed in June) bureau became operational i.e. started receiving complaints from the public. Till the end 2009 over 2.700 complaints were received out of which 1.100 accepted.
Jordan was ranked performing far better than most countries in the region regarding perception of corruption. The Prime Minister pledged “zero tolerance” for corruption which constitutes a top priority of the government.
A revised and partially improved “Associations Act” (administrative and legal framework for non-governmental organizations) entered into force.
The definition of torture under the Jordanian legislation was brought in line with the UN Convention against Torture.
Jordan advanced in the international indexes on press freedom. The EU contributes to enhancing the professionalism of journalists and promoting respect of human rights and freedom of the press by supporting the “Jordan Media Institute”.
Jordan lifted its reservation to the articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which restricted movement of persons and freedom to choose residence. The Civil Status Code was amended accordingly.
The Ministry of Justice established a special court to handle cases of honour killings. In October the first verdict was issued, imposing a 15 year sentence on a man who committed an honour crime.
Jordan kept a regular dialogue with the EU on CFSP-related matters and international issues. The country is the seventh largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN international peacekeeping operations worldwide, continued to participate in various operations notably by deploying its forces in Congo, Liberia, the Ivory Coast and Haiti.
Economic integration and trade
After the recent period of robust growth, GDP growth moderated to 3% in 2009 on account of the indirect impact of the global economic crisis. The budget deficit is forecast to swell to 12.5% of GDP excluding grant aid.
Poverty remains a concern with 10% of the population living with less than one Jordan dinar (€ 0.96) a day. The Coordination commission for social solidarity became operational in 2009 and coordinates all programmes on poverty reduction. The Poverty division of the Department of statistics, created in July 2009, is the first of its kind in the Arab World.
EU’s trade with Jordan decreased in 2009, by 15% compared to 2008, to € 2.8 billion. The EU is Jordan’s second trading partner, after Saudi Arabia.
Jordan signed a Free Trade Agreement with Turkey and an action plan to set up a customs union with Egypt was adopted (the two countries have agreed to aim for a unified customs law, common external tariff and to harmonise other relevant laws.
A temporary tax law entered into force in January 2010 aiming at unifying several categories of taxes and upgrading the efficacy of tax collection in order to make Jordan more attractive for foreign investment by reducing the tax rates applicable to trade and industry and by exempting foreign investors from the obligation to pay a 10% tax on profits transferred abroad.
Promoting mobility, fighting irregular migration
Cooperation with Jordan on border management progressed steadily: training on document examination, profiling and counter-trafficking was delivered through EU assistance to Jordanian officers and personnel.
Jordan ratified the 2003 UN Conventions and protocols against Trans-national Organised Crime, especially women and children. It also adopted the Anti-Human Trafficking Law and formed a national committee responsible for drawing up policies and plans to prevent human trafficking and ensuring their implementation.
In June 2009, Jordan adopted a National Strategy on the fight against drugs, focusing on the law enforcement, prevention and rehabilitation.
Sector cooperation - examples
Transport: Euro-Mediterranean aviation agreement was initialled in March 2010. It will ensure the establishment of common standards in the field of air transport and the progressive opening-up of the markets.
Energy: A new Renewable Energy Law was passed as temporary law in January 2010. Jordan ratified the Convention on nuclear safety, it also acceded also to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. In view of Jordan’s plan to develop civil nuclear power generation, the EU and Jordan signed a project aiming at developing and strengthening the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Environment: The environment administration has gone through a comprehensive reform within which its administrative capacities have been significantly strengthened. Consequently, the Ministry can be considered as representing best practice in Jordan for strengthening public administration.
Research: The Science & Technology agreement between the EU and Jordan was signed. Jordan continued to increase the numbers of applications submitted to the 7th Framework Programme - 125 Jordanian proposals were sent and 20 of them retained, receiving € 1.46 million of EU contribution.
Education: In 2007-2009, thanks to Erasmus Mundus grants 112 Jordanian students and academics could pursue studies in EU universities for up to three years.
EU–Jordan – BACKGROUND
FACTS AND FIGURES
2002: EU-Jordan Association Agreement entered into force
2005: EU-Jordan Action Plan was approved
2008: Launch of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM, reinforced Euro-Mediterranean Partnership).
2007-2010: The ENPI1 envelope for Jordan is € 265 million
2009: The European Investment Bank borrowed € 166 million for the construction of a water pipeline from Disi to Amman in order to address the problem of water scarcity. Furthermore, to address the needs of Iraqi refugees in the Zarqa area, an EC programme of € 12 million aims at improving water distribution
2011-2013: An indicative ENPI envelope of € 223 million announced by the Commission
More info at:
the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument