The 2015 ENP package "Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2014" consists of a joint Communication and a set of country specific and regional reports. The report on Jordan underlines key developments and reform efforts in 2014 and makes recommendations for the year to come.
During 2014, the EU-Jordan relations progressed positively. Jordan has been considerably affected by the ongoing armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In addition to the refugee influx, the conflict led to a loss of trade routes, markets and energy supply. The country has shown great resilience in the face of regional crises and continued to remain a moderate and tolerant regional key-player with a stabilising role both regionally and internationally. The domestic stability has been preserved in spite of the significant threats that the crises in Syria and Iraq have posed to the country's security, political and socio-economic situation.
Jordan continued its democratic transition process in 2014. The jurisdiction of the Independent Election Commission was expanded to municipal and other elections. A new legal framework for political parties was elaborated. Steps to strengthen the impartiality and effectiveness of the judiciary were taken and the government stepped up its efforts to combat corruption.
In terms of the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, a clear setback was registered when Jordan cancelled the de-facto moratorium on the death penalty and executed 11 individuals in December 2014 as well as two more in February 2015. Media freedom remained a sensitive issue, closely related to the freedom of expression. The policy dialogue of the government with civil society was not strengthened.
The economy remained resilient against external shocks, in particular the influx of refugees from Syria and Iraq. Jordan and the EU continued to prepare negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).
The establishment of a Mobility Partnership between the EU, its participating Member States and Jordan is a step towards closer cooperation in the field of migration and mobility. The EU and Jordan committed themselves to ensure that migration is managed as effectively as possible, allowing for concrete actions to improve the situation of migrants, in particular asylum seekers.
The EU and Jordan agreed to establish a regular security dialogue in order to review the situation and find ways to enhance the level of cooperation with regard to counter-terrorism.
On the basis of the Country Progress Report, several actions are recommended to Jordan for the coming year, amongst others:
- re-applying the moratorium on the death penalty;
- further improving the electoral system;
- improving the active and constructive participation of citizens in political processes;
- continuing to strengthen a fair, independent and efficient judiciary system;
- ensuring balance between legitimate concerns of national security and each individual's right to peaceful expression of opinion by refraining from referring journalists and citizens to the State Security Court on terrorism charges;
- continuing cooperation with the EU to ensure an effective implementation of the Mobility Partnership.
For further information:
I. EU financial support:
In 2014, EU funding through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) amounted to €104.5 million to support two major programmes: Public finance management and public administration reforms (€47.5 million) and Skills for employment and social inclusion (€52 million). An Erasmus+ window (€5 million) complements the 2014 package. In addition, the EU provided €70 million to Jordan as a contribution to help the country cope with the consequences of the Syrian crisis. This special assistance focuses mainly on the education sector.
The indicative bilateral financial allocation under the ENI for the period 2014-2017 will be in the range of €312 to €382 million. Targeted priority sectors of EU cooperation are: reinforcing the rule of law for enhanced accountability and equity in public service delivery; employment and private sector development; renewable energies and energy efficiency.
In addition to ENI, Jordan also benefitted in 2014 from other EU support such as European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (€0.7 million), the Instrument contributing to Peace and Stability (€20 million) and macro-financial assistance, under which a total of up to €180 million in loans is foreseen to be disbursed in 2015 (€100 million was already disbursed in February 2015).
Further information on financial cooperation can be found in Section IV of the Statistical Annex and on the following websites of the European Commission:
II. Further sources of information:
- Joint Communication on the implementation of the ENP in 2014
- Progress report for Jordan with the full list of recommendations
- ENP Action Plan
- The European Neighbourhood Policy in general:
b.) European Commission
- Website of Ms Federica Mogherini, HR/VP
- Website of Mr Johannes Hahn, Member of the European Commission for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations