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French Version

Benita Ferrero-Waldner to visit Jordan 19 and 20 October

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, will visit Jordan on 19 and 20 October where she will strengthen EU and Jordanian co-operation through the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and reaffirm the Commission’s support for Jordan’s own reform agenda. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will sign financing agreements worth €63 million with Jordan that will assist the country in implementing its reforms and reinforce EU-Jordan ties. During her visit, the Commissioner will meet his Majesty King Abdullah II and Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher to discuss Jordan’s implementation of the ENP Action Plan, the National Agenda and the areas in which the EU can offer further support.

Speaking on the eve of her visit, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said:

“Jordan has set an example to others in the way it has worked with the EU on our European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan and its achievements are already impressive. We are backing Jordan’s own reforms with EU expertise and financial assistance and the country will be well placed to benefit from a new arrangement that will offer greater support to those who share Europe’s commitment to democracy and human rights”.

She added:

“At next month’s Euro-Mediterranean summit in Barcelona, we will invite Jordan to showcase the progress they have made through the European Neighbourhood Policy to our partners across the whole region.”

Through the ENP Action Plan Jordan and the EU have set up joint working groups in key areas including in trade, investment, and social affairs. Jordan is the first partner in the region to set up a joint working group with the EU on human rights. In addition, it has already established a human rights centre and has made progress on supporting press freedoms.

Building on the Action Plan already developed with the EU, Jordan is about to launch a National Agenda for reform - a long term strategy that will assist transformation to a dynamic, prosperous and democratic country. The EU is ready to concentrate its support to help Jordan achieve the reform objectives it has set itself.

During her visit Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will indicate that Jordan is well placed to benefit from a new ‘governance facility fund’ when it comes into effect in 2007. This new initiative will offer extra financial assistance through the ENP to those countries that have made impressive progress in implementing political reforms and in promoting human rights.

Since 1995 the EU has allocated to Jordan over €500 million to help Jordan achieve its political, economic and social reform objectives. On 20 October Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will sign Financing Agreements amounting to €63 million for the coming year. This will be allocated to a number of projects including €40 million to help Jordan foster a dynamic private sector that can act as an engine of economic growth. A further €15 million will be used to improve the assistance that the EU gives Jordan in public administration so that the country will be well placed in the future to benefit from the EU’s internal market. € 5 million will contribute to improve water management and the remaining €3 million will be allocated to assist Jordan in promoting human rights and good governance.

Background

The European Neighbourhood Policy is a unique agreement between the European Union and its neighbours. It aims to promote progressive integration, through the offer of a stake in the EU internal market, and co-operation in a range of areas from strengthening democracy, rule of law, and human rights, to trade liberalisation, energy, and transport. It complements the Barcelona Process, and builds on existing Association Agreements.

Brussels,11 01 2005
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European Union
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