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The Association Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan came into force in May 2002. This Agreement, which forms the legal basis of the relations between the EU and Jordan, aims especially at fostering political dialogue, the progressive liberalisation of trade and the promotion of co-operation in a wide spectrum of sectors. Adopted in June 2005 the first EU-Jordan Action Plan contributed to developing bilateral relations by opening the doors to several EU initiatives. In October 2010, the EU-Jordan Association Council agreed on an "advanced status" partnership and acknowledged the conclusion of the negotiations on a new EU-Jordan Action Plan with a five-year duration.
EU co-operation with Jordan 2007-2013
Since 2007 the EU's financial assistance to Jordan has mainly been provided under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). In addition to this instrument, Jordan is also eligible under a wide range of EU thematic envelopes.
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument is the main financial mechanism through which assistance is given to Jordan, either on bilateral or on regional bases. The multi-annual strategic framework for the EU co-operation with Jordan is established in the EU-Jordan Country Strategy Paper (CSP) [465 KB] , which currently covers the period 2007-2013. Within the framework of the CSP, two National Indicative Programmes (NIPs) define the priorities of EU-Jordan financial co-operation for the periods 2007-2010 and 2011-2013.
For the NIP 2011-2013 [211 KB] the EU allocated an indicative budget of €223 million to support Jordan in the following fields:
- democracy, human rights, media and justice (€45 million),
- trade, enterprise and investment development (€40 million),
- sustainability of the growth process (€93 million) and
- implementation of the action plan (€45 million).
The EU's financial assistance to Jordan under the NIP 2007-2010 [465 KB] amounted to €265 million. It focused on four objectives:
- political reform and good governance (€17 million),
- trade and investment development (€63 million),
- sustainability of the growth process (€55 million) and
- institution building and financial stability (€130 million).
In October 2002, the EU and Jordan signed the first Support to the Association Agreement Programme (€20 million). The agreement aimed at upgrading the Jordanian administration’s institutional capacities so it could deal with all aspects of the Association Agreement. Six twinning projects were implemented covering the following domains: food safety, phytosanitary, standards and metrology, customs and Audit Bureau.
A second support programme to the Association Agreement was concluded in October 2005 (€15 million). Four twinning projects were implemented in the following areas: capacity building for the National Energy Research Centre, security/combating terrorism, penitentiary reform and environment.
A third programme was agreed in 2009 with a budgetary envelope of €10 million. Under this programme five twinning projects were established in the following areas: agriculture, telecommunication, conformity assessment and acceptance of industrial products, cadastral system and capacity building for the gendarmerie directorate.
A similar fourth programme worth €20 million was also agreed.
Other budget lines
In addition to bilateral projects financed under the ENPI, Jordan is eligible for additional funds under the EU's thematic programmes and other instruments, notably the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development programme. Over 30 projects are currently being implemented in Jordan under these two thematic instruments. Jordan also benefits from the Erasmus Mundus programme, which enhances mobility and co-operation with the EU in the field of higher education, as well as the Tempus programme which supports the modernisation of higher education.
EU co-operation with Jordan 1995-2006
From 1995 to 2006, the EU's co-operation with Jordan operated within the framework of the MEDA programme. The EU dedicated considerable financial resources to ensure the partnership with Jordan achieved its objectives. In fact, since 1995, the country received more than €500 million of EU assistance. The MEDA II programme (2000-2006) focused on implementing the Association Agreement and helped Jordan in a variety of social, economic and institutional challenges.
The NIP for 2002-2004 [277 KB] for Jordan focused on trade enhancement and support for economic reforms, human resources development and strengthening pluralism, civil society and the rule of law. The NIP for 2005-2006 [306 KB] placed additional emphasis on improving living conditions and developing infrastructures.
For the European Neighbourhood Policy and EU policy towards Jordan see the European External Action Service website.