EU-Jordan Association council: about reforms and also Syria
Brussels, 19 December – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated in the Association Council with Jordan in Brussels today. After the plenary session he made this remarks to the press: "The European Union is fully behind Jordan's political, economic and social reforms and these are not words only. We can back it up with concrete measures.
Today the Commission together with High Representative Catherine Ashton announced New programmes worth 10 million EUR, which will provide additional support for sustainable and inclusive growth and economic development in Jordan, particularly for small and medium-sized (SMEs) enterprises. This is to help creating jobs and income-generating opportunities in export industries (see more details here)
Speaking about the overall EU assistance to Jordan, we have already allocated €223 million for the period 2011-2013 and assigned an additional €70 million financial envelope from our SPRING (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth) programme. This should be seen as a further sign of support and encouragement to the continuation of the political and economic reform process based on the principle more for more.
This is happening in framework of the renewed Neighbourhood policy measured against progress on reforms and we stressed also today the need to build an inclusive, participatory, and open political system where all Jordanians feel represented. It is important that forthcoming parliamentary elections take place in a free, fair and transparent way.
On Syria I can only echo our concerns, the situation on the ground is deteriorating rapidly. Jordan has played a vital role in providing support and hospitality to the Syrian refugees in their time of need. We appreciate the role of Jordan and are grateful to Jordan for keeping its border open. Recognising the burden this places on the country's resources, the EU stands ready to help with both humanitarian assistance and longer-terms measures.
We have also discussed the Union for Mediterranean and concluded that after months, even years when this beauty was asleep it is time to wake her up. We have a strengthened Secretariat, we work on a range of ministerial meetings focusing on sectoral cooperation and as well on how to make this label of UfM attractive for investors. All this combined should then bring change for people on the ground whether they are from the capital or from a village on the coast."
Watch press conference here
See Cyprus EU Presidency press release here