EEAS description of EU-Jordan relations

The website of the European External Action Service (EEAS) provides an overview of relations between Jordan and the European Union.

The following aspects of the relationship are described:
  • political relations
  • financial cooperation
  • trade
  • humanitarian aid
  • the EU response to the Syrian crisis.

EU-Jordan Mobility Partnership, 2014

The EU and Jordan began a Dialogue on Migration, Mobility and Security in December 2012 and negotiations on the Political Declaration for the EU-Jordan Mobility Partnership were finalised in June 2014.

The Mobility Partnership with Jordan was the first of its kind with a country in the Middle East region. It follows the signature of such partnerships with other countries bordering the Mediterranean (i.e. Morocco in June 2013 and Tunisia in March 2014). Mobility Partnerships are also in place with the Republic of Moldova and Cape Verde (2008), with Georgia (2009), with Armenia (2011) and with Azerbaijan (2013).

Mobility Partnerships provide a flexible and non-legally binding framework for ensuring that the movement of people between the EU and a third country can be managed effectively. They form part of the global migration approach developed by the EU in recent years.

Through this partnership the EU and Jordan agreed to ensure that the movement of persons is managed as effectively as possible, allowing for concrete actions to further improve the situation in the way migration, asylum and borders are dealt with. Strengthening efforts to derive all the potential benefits from migration and linking them to development is a key feature of the Partnership.

Measures have been foreseen to improve the information available to qualified Jordanian citizens on employment, education and training opportunities available in the EU and also to make mutual recognition of professional and university qualifications easier.

The EU and Jordan also agreed to begin negotiations on an agreement to facilitate the visa issuing procedures.

EU-Jordan Action Plan, European Neighbourhood Policy

The EU launched its European Neighbourhood Policy in 2004 in a document titled "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood". The Policy created a framework for the EU's relations with 16 of the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbours - including Jordan - in order to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration.

The ENP was reviewed in 2011, following the Arab uprisings, and again in November 2015. While the policy generally aims to foster stabilisation, security and prosperity, the specifics of the EU's efforts depend largely on the bilateral relationship with the country concerned.

There are 16 countries defined as part of the ENP. Of these, 12, including Jordan, have agreed on bilateral Action Plans or Association Agendas with the EU. These set out a series of political and economic reforms with short and medium-term priorities of 3 to 5 years. ENP Action Plans/Association Agendas reflect the needs, capacities an interests of the country and the EU.

A first EU-Jordan Action Plan was adopted in June 2005, and 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.

A new EU-Jordan Action Plan was adopted in October 2012.

The actions foreseen in the Plan's section on "Political dialogue and reform" include efforts to "Further develop the political dialogue between the European Parliament and the Jordanian Parliament."

EU-Jordan Association Agreement

The "Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of the other part" was signed in Brussels on 24 November 1997 and came into force on 1 May 2002.

This Agreement forms part of the Barcelona Process (Euro-Mediterranean partnership). Although all the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements reflect the general principles governing the new Euro-Mediterranean relationship, each contains characteristics specific to the relations between the parties.

The agreements contains:
  • a human rights clause, recognised as an essential element of the Agreement;
  • provisions on political dialogue;
  • provisions relating to the free movement of goods, services and capital;
  • cooperation on economic, social, cultural and financial questions.
This comprehensive cooperation Agreement now covers all EC-Jordan relations, and previous agreements are void.

In the economic and financial field, the priority is on enhancing trade, boosting regional integration, and supporting a stable macro-economic framework, broad economic reform, and the development of infrastructure. On social issues, the focus is on social reform, human resources development, and strengthening civil society. On the political front, there are undertakings regarding institution-building, as well as respecting pluralism and the rule of law.

Article 5 of the Agreement addresses political dialogue and states:

"There shall be a political dialogue between the European Parliament and the Jordanian Parliament."