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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 20 March 2013

ENP Country Progress Report 2012 – Jordan

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published on 20 March 2013 the annual “neighbourhood package”, consisting of a joint communication (“Working Towards a Stronger Partnership”) making an assessment of the ENP implementation in 2012, a report on the “Partnership for Democracy and Shared prosperity” with Southern Mediterranean, an Eastern Partnership progress report, 12 country reports (on developments in 2012 and with a set of recommendations for the future), including one on Jordan, and a statistical annex.

The EU-Jordan cooperation continued to further expand in 2012. The political instability already experienced in 2011 continued, with three successive cabinets being appointed. The situation was further complicated by a worsening economic outlook, in a context of heightened regional tensions, notably by the civil unrest in Syria. Jordan has played a vital role in providing support and hospitality to the ever increasing number of Syrian refugees. Recognising the burden this places on the country, the EU provided support through humanitarian assistance and longer terms measures with an overall financial allocation of over EUR 43 million.

In 2012 Jordan addressed a number of the key recommendations contained in the last year's ENP progress report, notably the establishment of the electoral commission, the Constitutional Court, the adoption of a political parties' law and an electoral law. Most of the other key recommendations made previously remain valid. In line with the commitments agreed in the ENP Action Plan, Jordan should pursue the reform process, enforce the laws adopted and acts accordingly. Jordan is particularly invited:

  • To build an inclusive, participatory, and open political system where all Jordanians feel represented. Review the electoral law framework ensuring the universality of voter participation and equality of votes.

  • To strengthen the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and its administrative capacity, including completely ceasing to use military courts to judge civilians.

  • To enhance the fight against corruption which undermines the country’s political, economic and social development, also through the adoption of the new draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy and related Action Plan.

  • To take concrete steps to eradicate violence against women and to promote women's integration in politics, economic life, education and employment.

  • To withdraw its reservations on Article 15(4) of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in line with the recommendation of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

  • To proceed towards a de jure abolition of the death penalty.

  • To move forward with the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

  • To ensure freedom of the press and prevent any kind of interference in mainstream or online news portals. Discontinue the practice of referring civilians to the State Security Court for free speech offences.

  • Ratify the regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin.

  • Pursue regulatory convergence to support efforts to increase exports and to prepare for an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products, and step up efforts towards a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

Reforms initiated, carried out successfully, or delayed during 2012 in the different areas of cooperation between the EU and Jordan are described in the annual country report. Some of the issues reported deserve special attention. In regard to freedom of assembly, public protests in Jordan continued throughout 2012. Concerning freedom of expression, arrest of demonstrators and ill treatment in custody raised concerns. Media freedom has not been guaranteed: restrictive press and publications legislation met strong public criticism. Corruption remains a matter of serious concern. In the area of free movement of goods and technical regulations, Jordan made progress in the preparation for negotiations of the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA) aimed at facilitating the access of Jordanian industrial products to the EU internal market (and vice-versa). The EU-Jordan Dialogue on Migration, Mobility and Security mobility was launched in 2012. With regard to the Middle East Peace Process, Jordan continued to be strong advocate of reviving of the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. An increasing number of Jordan students and researchers benefited from different European programmes in the education area.

EU–Jordan – BACKGROUND

THE POLICY

The European Neighbourhood Policy governs the relations between the EU and Jordan.

2002: EU-Jordan Association Agreement entered into force.

2005: EU-Jordan Action Plan was approved.

2008: Launch of the Union for the Mediterranean.

2010: Negotiations of the second EU-Jordan ENP Action Plan completed.

2010: “Advanced status” partnership agreed in October (EU-Jordan Association Council).

2012: Second EU-Jordan ENP Action Plan formally adopted.

FACTS AND FIGURES

2007-2010: The ENPI1 envelope for Jordan was earmarked at EUR 265 million.

2009: The European Investment Bank lent EUR 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 EUR 12 million aims at improving water distribution.

2011-2013: The new National Indicative Programme (NIP) 2011-13 for Jordan was adopted in May 2010 with a EUR 223 million budget. The programme is geared towards supporting the achievement of key policy objectives as outlined in the EU-Jordan Action Plan and pursues four priorities: (1) supporting Jordan’s reform in the areas of democracy, human rights, media and justice; (2) trade, enterprise and investment development; (3) sustainability of the growth process; (4) support to the implementation of the action plan.

2011: the EU-Jordan Protocol for the Dispute Settlement in bilateral trade entered into force.

2012: EU and Jordan signed the Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement on the general principles for the participation of Jordan in EU programmes.

More info at:

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm

http://eeas.europa.eu/jordan/index_en.htm

http://eeas.europa.eu/enp/index_en.htm

1 :

the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument


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