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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
Jordan

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EU and Jordan

The European Union (EU) cooperates with Jordan in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and its southern dimension, the “Renewed partnership with Southern Neighbourhood – A new Agenda for the Mediterranean” .

Relations between the EU and Jordan are based on the Association Agreement, which entered into force in May 2002.

The EU and Jordan have a strong partnership: Jordan is a key partner of the EU, and the EU highly values the important moderating role that Jordan plays in the region. The partnership is underpinned by a shared commitment to boost Jordan’s social and economic development through reforms and reinforce stability and growth while addressing the consequences of the Syrian crisis.

The latest EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities (PPs) were adopted at the EU-Jordan Association Council of 2nd June 2022 . They will guide the partnership until 2027. The PPs are based on common values and dialogue, and promote reforms in areas such as good governance, the rule of law, human rights, social cohesion and equal opportunities for all, non-discrimination, environmental and climate protection, macroeconomic stability and the business environment. 

In July 2016, the EU and Jordan agreed on a simplification of the rules of origin applicable to imports of Jordanian goods into the EU in line with the EU-Jordan Compact. The simplification allows producers in Jordan to use a very advantageous set of rules of origin (equivalent to the ones granted to least-developed countries under the EU’s Everything But Arms initiative), on the condition that the production of their goods offers new job opportunities for Syrian refugees. 

The EU and Jordan signed a Mobility Partnership in October 2014 to better manage mobility and migration.

Bilateral cooperation

EU assistance to Jordan is funded mainly through the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) for the period 2021-2027. The instrument’s innovative approach includes but also looks beyond grant funding. An increased accent on blending EU grants with loans from European and International Financing Institutions will allow partner countries to unlock substantial level of concessional funding for investments. The new system of guarantees provided for under the NDICI will give access to additional funds from the crowding-in of both public and private investors. 

Bilateral assistance follows multiannual programming. Under NDICI, the priority areas for EU assistance have been set down in the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027 and are guided by the Partnership Priorities agreed between the EU and Jordan.

The MIP focuses on the following three priority sectors: 

• Good governance (democratic reforms, rule of law & security, accountability & effective administration);

• Support to green transition and to a resilient economy (green economy & energy-water-food nexus, private sector development);

• Support to human development (education & higher education, social protection, employability). 

For the first period of the MIP 2021-2024 €364 million have been allocated for EU bilateral cooperation with Jordan.

On 9 February 2021, the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication on the renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood, establishing a new Agenda for the Mediterranean to relaunch and reinforce the EU’s partnership with the region. It will guide EU policy and programming towards the country for the coming years. The Joint Communication is accompanied by an Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours to ensure amongst others that the quality of life for people in the region improves and the economic recovery, including following the COVID-19 pandemic, leaves no one behind. The Plan includes 12 preliminary flagship initiatives to strengthen resilience, build prosperity and increase trade and investment to support competitiveness and inclusive growth. Relevant flagships for Jordan include (1) investment in education to upgrade the skills of the youth, (2) improvement of the health system to provide quality services especially to the most vulnerable groups, (3) investment in the design of sustainable and comprehensivesocial assistance systems, (4) help to maximize the use ofrenewable energy and energy efficiency for water pumping, waste management and agriculture, (5) support to SMEs, (6) improvement of regional integration and connectivity.

With the aim of supporting the implementation of the Investment Plan, an “EU Jordan Investment Platform” was launched on 2 June 2022.

Past support financed by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) focussed on enhancement of social and economic development, strengthening the rule of law, upgrading border management and preventing violent extremism. For the period 2014-2020, under the ENI the EU's bilateral assistance to Jordan amounted to €765 million.

 

EU NEIGHBOURS South

Regional cooperation

In addition to bilateral cooperation, Jordan benefits from Neighbourhood-wide cooperation programmes under the ENI in the sectors of the rule of law and justice, environmental and climate protection, migration, culture and youth.

Under the EU twinning tool, the Jordanian public administration is partnering with European administrations for mutual learning and capacity building through sharing of EU best practices with eight twinning projects in 2014-2020 in key sectors such as justice, home affairs, environment, employment, standardization, certification and statistics. Jordan also benefits from TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument, 58 bilateral events in 2016-2021) and SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management, about €1 million in 2014-2020) that support public administration reforms.

Moreover, under the EU External Investment Plan and the blending mechanism of the Neighbourhood Investment Platform, Jordan is benefitting from €126 million of EU grants which allowed Jordan to access loans worth €622 million since 2010 for projects in the sectors of energy, water and sanitation, transport, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development. EU grants increase the concessional nature of loans from International Financial Institutions and absorb political and economic risks.

Syrian refugee crisis

The EU has spearheaded the international response to the Syrian crisis, supporting actions both inside Syria and in the affected neighbouring countries, with €24.9 billion mobilised by the EU and its Member States since 2011.

Jordan and its people have been severely affected by the Syrian crisis, with over 663,000 refugees from Syria registered by UNHCR (February 2021). The EU’s total assistance to help Jordan manage the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis amounts to almost €3.3 billion since 2011 through its various instruments. This includes:

  • €1.2 billion in bilateral assistance under the ENI
  • €512 million in non-humanitarian resilience assistance channeled through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis since its creation in 2015 to help Jordan cope with the refugee crisis, assist the refugees from Syria to strengthen their resilience and support them to become increasingly self-reliant
  • €375 million in humanitarian assistance
  • €65 million under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace
  • €1.08 billion in Macro-Financial Assistance. The last loan programme of €700 million was adopted in May 2020 to help Jordan support its economic stabilisation, enhance public debt sustainability, accelerate implementation of economic reforms and limit the economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This support is helping Jordanian institutions, vulnerable Jordanians and refugees from Syria by:

  • Protecting the most vulnerable, both Jordanians and Syrians, meeting their most pressing humanitarian needs such as for health, food, shelter, water and sanitation,
  • Assisting Syrian refugees, providing them decent living conditions and access to basic services, including through advocacy on legal registration in the country,
  • Promoting economic growth and job creation for both Jordanian citizens and Syrian refugees, notably through facilitating access to basic, vocational and higher education, supporting private sector development, and facilitating trade with the EU. The aim is to foster socio-economic inclusion of refugees and increase their contribution to Jordan’s economic development,
  • Reinforcing the capacities of Jordanian institutions responsible for responding to the Syrian crisis at national and local levels, including by investing in the upgrading of infrastructure to cope with the additional pressure resulting from the refugee presence,
  • Supporting the operationalisation of the Jordanian National Social Protection Strategy (2019-2025), as part of EU’s long term support to social protection, which will contribute to the achievement of a sustainable system, in policy as well as institutional set-up,
  • Supporting the country’s macro-economic stability through the provision of direct budget support and Macro-Financial assistance to the Government.

At the Brussels I Conference (5 April 2017), the Brussels II Conference(24-25 April 2018), the Brussels III ConferenceS (12-14 March 2019) and the Brussels IV Conference (22-30 June 2020), the EU and the international community renewed their support to the critical efforts the Jordanian government and citizens are undertaking in response to the crisis. The Brussels V Conference takes place on 29 and 30 March 2021.

UNRWA and Palestine refugees

Jordan hosts more than 2.2 million Palestine refugees, of whom 17,500 come from Syria, displaced for a second time. The country benefits from EU contributions to the central budget of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which amounted to €903 million in 2014-2020. In addition and in the context of the Syrian crisis, the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis is supporting UNRWA with targeted actions to meet the needs of Palestine refugees displaced from Syria, as well as the host communities for a total of €18.2 million since 2015.

Other financing instruments

Jordan participates in Erasmus+, which supports the modernisation of the higher education sector and promotes mobility and co-operation with EU higher education institutions. 3,510 Jordanian students, professors and administrative staff travelled to Europe and 2,210 Europeans counterparts travelled to Jordan between 2015 and 2020.

Jordan benefits from additional EU thematic programmes and instruments:

Further information

Factsheets available to download

Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below