Eviction of Jerusalemite Palestinians illegal under int’l law, says EU ambassador 1st add

Following are key highlights of the interview in Q&A format:

1. How do you see the existing relations and partnership between Jordan and the European Union?

The European Union has a strong and long-standing relationship with Jordan, a key partner in our southern neighbourhood. This is not just a slogan but also a reality of continuous coordination, tangible support and meetings at the highest level, such as the most recent visit of His Majesty King Abdullah II to Brussels. We work well together on bilateral, regional and global issues where our views and interests often converge.

The Association Agreement signed between the EU and Jordan in 2002 encapsulates this relationship while the objectives of the EU-Jordan bilateral relations are framed in the EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities. Under the current Partnership Priorities, bilateral cooperation includes strengthening cooperation on regional stability and security, including counter-terrorism; promoting economic stability, sustainable and knowledge-based growth, quality education and job creation; strengthening democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights.

These Partnership Priorities will soon be updated, in consultation with the Government of Jordan, to respond to the challenges Jordan is currently facing and to reflect the new European Union priorities for 2021-2027 and the ambitious and innovative new Agenda for the Mediterranean as presented in the Joint Communication for the Southern Neighborhood.

The EU is more than the sum of its parts; we work together with our 27 Member States and the European Financial Institutions as “Team Europe”, joining forces and amplifying our collective support by developing synergies and coordinating closely, in our cooperation with our partner countries. This spirit is reflected in our recent support to help the Government Jordan mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

2. What about EU support for Jordan in various fields?

For over four decades, the EU has been a trusted and reliable partner to Jordan. In the last cooperation cycle between 2014 and 2020, the EU provided around EUR 2.8 billion of bilateral financial assistance to Jordan. Sectors that received strong support ranged from the rule of law and justice, to political development, and integrated border management, to supporting access to education, technical and vocational training, social protection, and encouraging private sector development, public administration reform and transparency and accountability of public administration.

In 2019, the EU supported the digitalization of the Justice sector with a push for the development of electronic criminal records, and as a result of this support, today 88.5% of judges and prosecutors in Jordan have access to electronic records, with a direct connection to law enforcement departments. This support has also contributed to increasing the execution of judicial orders to 65.74% and funded a unit in charge of communicating with citizens that answered more than 2 million incoming calls and 85000 emails in its first operating year.

Finally, the EU supported the establishment of a national fund to provide free legal aid services, which benefited 993 people last year, compared to the previous year.

The EU has also been instrumental in leading green energy development and increasing renewable energy penetration in Jordan. With EU funds, more than 25% of installed capacity was reached by the end of 2020, compared to 1% in 2012, benefitting at least 250,000 people.

Civil society organizations remain a major partner of the EU, with an aim to support not only their capacity to provide services complementing those delivered by the state, but also enhancing their ability to contribute to policy shaping and monitoring, and to advocate for change where needed.

Source: Jordan News Agency