Establishment of Relations


Jordan and the European Union (EU) enjoy a longstanding relationship that dates back to the 1970’s. The first agreement between the EU and Jordan was a cooperation agreement signed in 1977, which granted Jordan privileged economic treatment within the EU, thus setting the foundations for future collaboration between both parties. Today, the EU and Jordan share a more dynamic and comprehensive relationship that has been developing throughout the years in both regional and bilateral dimensions.


Within the regional context, Jordan’s relations with the EU have evolved through the declaration of the Barcelona Process (Euro-Mediterranean Partnership) in 1995, which was launched as a comprehensive framework to manage bilateral and regional relations between the EU and its Mediterranean neighbors, with the ultimate goal of establishing a common area of shared peace and prosperity for the EuroMed area. On the bilateral front, this led to the development of the EU-Jordan Association Agreement (AA), which was signed in 1997 and came into force on May 2002. The AA is a legally binding treaty covering bilateral relations between the EU and Jordan and has three main pillars of cooperation: political, economic and social, with strong economic and trade provisions that include a Free Trade Agreement. The AA is a dynamic instrument which puts into place the needed institutional framework to achieve the goals and objectives of both Jordan and the EU.


In 2004, the EU launched the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) to unify and streamline its policies towards its southern and eastern neighbors, thus creating more possibilities for deeper and more integrated cooperation between the EU and its Mediterranean partners, including Jordan. On the bilateral front, Jordan and the EU jointly defined a set of priorities covering a number of key areas for specific action, which was translated into the Jordan-EU Action Plan, a political document covering a timeframe of five years (ending in 2010), and reflects the two parties shared objectives.


More recently, the Barcelona Process (Euro-Mediterranean Partnership) was re-launched as the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) in 2008 to infuse new vitality and raise the political level of the Euro-med partnership. Like its predecessors, the UFM has also been playing a role in mapping out relations between the EU and its Mediterranean neighbors, including Jordan, which stands to benefit tremendously from participation in the regional initiatives that fall under the umbrella of the UFM.


Financial and Technical Assistance


The EU provides financial assistance to partner countries through the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). The ENPI is the principle financial instrument of the EU and has a set budget of approximately Euros 12 billion for the period 2007-2013, which is used to fund both regional activities and the individual reform processes of partner countries. The EU provides assistance to Jordan in various forms,  mainly through general budget support measures, Project Type measures and  technical assistance measures.


EU assistance priorities are identified in accordance with the priorities of Jordan, which are set out in a general Country Strategy Paper (CSP) that usually covers 7 year periods. Jordan’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) ends in 2013 and has four main priorities.  These priorities are in line with the priorities and objectives of Jordan’s National Agenda initiative. On the basis of the CSP, a National Indicative Programme (NIP) is then prepared, which presents the EU’s response in terms of financial assistance and details the areas which the EU will support and the expected results. Jordan’s current National Indicative Programme (NIP) covers the period 2007-2010, with a total amount of €265 million allocated to support these four priorities. The new National Indicative Programme (NIP), is currently under development and will cover the period 2011-2013, where the EU has proposed to allocated €223 million to Jordan.


Prior to the ENPI, EU assistance to Jordan was channeled through the MEDA program: an EU  financial instrument for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. EU assistance under this instrument reached a total amount of nearly Euro 591.7 million (including additional grants), covering the period 1996-2006, and mainly supported the Government of Jordan’s efforts in the areas of trade enhancement, macroeconomic stability and economic reforms, social reforms and human resources development, industrial modernization, infrastructure development, and strengthening of pluralism, civil society, and the rule of law.



Capacity Building Instruments

Jordan has been a frontrunner in utilizing all EC capacity building tools, notably Twinning, TAIEX and Sigma. Twinning was introduced to Jordan in 2003 and the first project started in 2004, TAIEX was introduced and used in 2006, whereas Sigma was introduced in 2008 and started in 2009.


These tools have been instrumental in helping in building the institutional capacity of Jordan’s public administrations, in addition to creating and maintaining long-lasting partnerships with the EU counterparts. The Programme Administration Office in the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation is the Coordinator of all these tools.



Twinning is the principal EC institution-building tool. It aims at helping beneficiary countries in the development of modern and efficient administrations, with the structures, human resources and management skills. Twinning provides the framework for administrations in the beneficiary countries to work with their counterparts in the EU Member States. Each Twinning project has at least one Resident Twinning Adviser seconded from an EU Member State administration to work full time for a minimum of 12 months in the corresponding beneficiary administration to implement the project.


To date, ten twinning projects were concluded with EU Member States in the fields of Trade, Customs, Veterinary Measures, Standards and Conformity Assessment, Public Auditing, Food Inspection Services, Penitentiary Reform, Anti-Terrorism, Energy, and Environment. Twining partners included the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Italy, and Greece.


The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation is currently preparing for eight new Twinning projects in the fields of Phyto-Sanitary Measures, Statistics, Gendarmerie, Cadastre Mapping, Telecommunications, Conformity Assessment, Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice, which are planned to be prepared and contracted during the course of 2010.


Twinning projects are principally financed thought the different phases of the Support to the Implementation of the EU Jordan Association Agreement and the ENP Action Plan Programmes.


Closed Twinning Projects



Twinning Project


Euro million




1)      Reform of Food Inspection Services And Food Chain Laboratories


Jordan Food and Drug Administration


Reform of Jordan Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Services


2)      Ministry of Agriculture


3)      Institutional strengthening of the Customs Department


Jordan Customs


4)      Strengthening of Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology


Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology


5)      Institutional Strengthening of the Audit Bureau of Jordan


Audit Bureau


6)      Trade Related Capacity Building for the Ministry of Industry and Trade


Ministry of Industry and Trade


7)      Strengthening and Harmonization of Environmental Legislation


Ministry of Environment


Building the Capacity of the National Energy Research Centre


8)      National Energy Research Centre


9)      Fight against Terrorism and Organized Crime


Public Security Department


10)   Improving the Penitentiary System


Public Security Department






Planned Twinning Projects



Euro million


1)      EU Third Country Listing Criteria for Fresh Plants and their Products


The Ministry of Agriculture

2)      Strengthening the Jordanian Gendarmerie


Ministry of Interior/Gendarme

3)      Capacity Building for the Department of Statistics


Department of Statistics

4)      Implementation of the Roadmap for the Conclusion of the ACAA Agreement


Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology

5)      Institutional Strengthening of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission


Telecommunication Regulatory Commission

6)      Enhancement of the Cadastral System


Department of Land and Survey





TAIEX is a short-term technical assistance tool developed by the European Commission to help beneficiary countries in building and enhancing their institutional capacities. The assistance is achieved through (a) providing experts from the European Union or the European Commission, (b) conducting workshops and (c) mobilizing short-term expert missions.

TAIEX, is considered a fast and effective tool in information exchange and best practice delivery in various fields, in particular what concerns upgrading legislations and practices. This tool is largely demand driven and channeled through the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.

Since the initiation of the tool, the EC approved for Jordan 47 TAIEX bilateral activities in various fields, including agriculture, trade, customs, and justice and security. Moreover, around 600 Jordanians participated in 44 multilateral events organized by TAIEX Administration. 

TAIEX is financed by the EC with no financial contribution to be made by beneficiary countries.



Sigma is a joint initiative of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It was initiated in 1992 to support five central and eastern European countries in their public administration reform efforts, but has been extended to ENP countries in 2008.

Sigma’s support includes assessing reform progress and identifying priorities; assisting in the process of institution building and setting up legal frameworks; and facilitating assistance from the EU and other donors by helping to design projects and implement action plans. Sigma’s working methods are adaptable to the specific needs and priorities of the beneficiary countries and can lend support in the design of public administration reform programs

To date, the Government of Jordan has requested Sigma’s assistance in the following areas:

1.  Establishing the High Commission for Public Procurement.

2.  Assessing the Public Sector Development efforts.

3.  Improving the legislative drafting procedures of the Legislative and Opinion Bureau.

4.  Assessing the draft Strategic Plan of the Audit Bureau.

5.  Public debt management and internal control of the Ministry of Finance.

6.  Decentralization project.

SIGMA is financed by the EU with no financial contribution to be made by beneficiary countries.


Areas of EU Assistance

§   Political reform and good governance

§   Trade and investment development

§   Sustainability of the development process, and institution building

§   Financial stability and support to regulatory approximation


Ongoing Projects Funded by the EU

The following presents the major ongoing projects in key fields:


§   Support to Jordan's Education System to respond to the increasing Educational Needs of Displaced Iraqi People.

§   Support to Jordan's Education Reform.


§   Al Meyyah, Supporting Management of Water Services in Jordan.

§   Water Loss Reduction in Zarqa.


§   Annual Nuclear Safety Action Programme.

§   Capacity-Building in Wind Energy and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) in Jordan.

§   Supply of Equipment for the Energy Efficiency Laboratory of the National Energy Research Center of Jordan.

Trade, Investment and Industry Development

§   Development of the Jordan Investment Board Strategic Plan.

§   Institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

§   Jordan Services Modernization Programme (JSMP).

§   Support to Enterprise and Export Development.

§   Trade and Transport Facilitation (TTF) Programme .

§   Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA).

§   Sector Reform Facility.

§   Support for the Modernization of the Services Sector.

§   Enterprise and Export Development.

Capacity Building

§   Capacity Building of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission.

§   Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Department of Statistics.

§   Support to Public Finance Management Reform.

§   Support to Public Private Partnership.

§   Support to Regulatory Reform and Privatization in Infrastructure.

Good Governance, Human Rights and Civil Society

§   Improving the Penitentiary System in Jordan.

§   Institutional Capacity Building for the Ministry of Political Development.

§   Promotion of Human Rights and Democratization in Jordan (Sharaka).

§   Strengthening the Role of Jordanian Civil Society in Public Policy .

§   Two Short Term Technical Assistance Projects for the Anti-Corruption Commission.

§   Support to the Jordanian Anti-Corruption Commission.

§   Support to the Implementation of National Policies, Strategies and Legislation related to Human Rights and Good Governance in Jordan .


§   Institutional Strengthening of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in Jordan.

§   Support to Research and Technological Development and Innovations Initiatives.



Euro-Mediterranean Youth Programme- Phase III.

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