On Thursday, the 14th meeting of the Association Council between Jordan and the European Union kicked off in the Dead Sea region, where it discussed the prospects for cooperation and partnership between the two sides, including the partnership priority document for the next five years.
The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Exiles, Ayman Safadi, and the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, with the participation of the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varhely, and a number of foreign ministers and officials of the member states of the European Union, and in the presence of foreign ministers 4 European countries are Greece, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Ireland and senior Jordanian officials.
The meeting is being held for the first time in a partner country of the union’s southern neighbors, reflecting the depth and strength of the strategic bilateral partnership.
After the council meeting, Safadi and Borrell signed the NEPAD priority agreements, and then held a joint press conference with European Commissioner Varheli.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs said that the holding of the meeting coincided with the lapse of 20 years since the entry into force of the Association Agreement between Jordan and the European Union.
Relations between Jordan and the European Union were established in 1977 through the signing of a Cooperation Agreement, which was replaced by the Association Agreement, which was signed on 24 November 1997 and entered into force on 1 May 2002, following the completion of the process of ratification by all European parliaments and Jordanian Parliament.
The agreement was in line with the government’s orientation to strengthen economic and political cooperation with the European Union countries, and after economic openness, the expansion of markets and the encouragement of direct investment in Jordan.
Thursday’s meeting will discuss the most prominent prospects for cooperation and partnership and ways to improve them, including various projects and programs, future plans, and face common challenges and threats, especially in light of the partnership priority document between the two parties for the years 2021 -2027, which according to the ministry will be accepted during council meetings.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that Jordan is the first partner country of the southern neighbors to reach an agreement with the European Union on the document, as the Association Council meeting between the Kingdom and the European Union is held periodically, and the last meeting was in Luxembourg in 2019, and due to the Corona pandemic, no meeting has been held since that date, given that the first meeting of the Association Council was held in 2002.
During the joint council meeting, the government is scheduled to present the government’s economic priority program for the years 2021-2023, which focuses on recovery and stimulating economic growth by the private sector to create more jobs for Jordanians, especially for the youth and women, and supporting the sectors most affected by the Corona pandemic, in addition to improving coverage of national social protection programs.
– Partnership agreement according to 3 axes –
The Jordanian-European Partnership Agreement consists of several clauses dealing with all arrangements and regulations relating to various subjects, the most important of which are; Trade in industrial goods, trade in agricultural products, lifting of non-tariff restrictions, rules of origin, right to establish companies and services, liberalization of trade in services, payments and capital movement, competition, liberalization of state offerings, and intellectual property rights.
Cooperation through the agreement takes place according to 3 main axes; The first is the political and security axis, which includes general principles and rules governing cooperation between the two parties in the political and security spheres. democracy, human rights and regional development.
The second axis is economic and financial, as it was intended to establish a free trade area between Jordan and the European Union during a transitional period of 12 years from the date of entry into force of the Agreement, in accordance with the provisions of the Partnership Agreement , the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
In this context, the European Union provides financial and technical assistance to countries that have signed partnership agreements through the MEDA assistance program, which aims in particular to provide financial and technical support to Mediterranean countries to carry out the necessary economic reforms and the possible adverse to mitigate consequences. consequences of the process of economic transformation.
As far as the social and cultural axis is concerned: it includes the general principles and rules governing cooperation between the European Union and Jordan in the social and cultural field. The agreement seeks, through continuous dialogue, to improve working conditions for Jordanians legally . of the Union, to raise awareness of the civilizations and cultures of both parties, and to combat discrimination.
This axis also aims, through joint programs and projects, to eliminate migration factors, create jobs, provide training and rehabilitation in Mediterranean countries, increase the role of women in economic development, improve the health system and the social security system. , and to exchange the youth. visits with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of different cultures.