The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyenwelcomed H.M. King Abdullah II from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Brussels today. Discussions focused on recent developments and the need to avoid a negative spill-over in the region, where Jordan plays a key stabilising role. During the visit, the Commission also announced a substantial EU support package for Jordan worth €902 million (€402 million in grants and €500 million in loans by the European Investment Bank).
President von der Leyen said: “I thank King Abdullah II for his critical stabilising role in the region. The EU is a strong friend and partner of Jordan and our cooperation spans many areas, from culture to water management, from refugee support to education and training. This is why I am happy to announce today that we will continue our strong support to Jordan’s reform process and modernisation of its economy.”
Today’s EU assistance package announced for Jordan includes:
- A €185 million package focused on improving education and technical training for the youth as well as to promote Jordan’s rich cultural heritage and create sustainable jobs in the tourism sector. The package further contains initiatives to help refugees and vulnerable host communities access education, social protection and water and sanitation services.
- The launch of two new initiatives worth €110 million in total, to promote the private sector development and education, in particular to provide job opportunities for the youth, by helping them to acquire necessary skills required by the labour market and, on the other end, to help small and medium enterprises to develop and to create fair and sustainable jobs for the youth. The focus is on innovative sectors like green and digital industries with great potential in Jordan.
- As part of the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbourhood, EU is supporting investments in Jordan to address the existing water shortage. The EU has just signed with the European Investment Bank (EIB) a first €50 million grant contribution to the vital Aqaba Amman Water Desalination and Conveyance project and adopted an additional €47 million EU contribution for the project, complementing anew concessional loan of €100 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This follows a €200 million in financing for the project signed by the EIB in December 2022, representing the first formal commitment of international support for the project. The project will provide 300 million cubic meters of drinking water every year to Jordan once operational in 2027.
- Further efforts to reduce water losses and improve sustainability of water supply across Jordan will continue thanks to a EIB loan of €400 million under discussion.
- Finally, the package also includes the adoption of a new programme for energy efficiency and promoting biogas production for an EU contribution of €10.4 million has just been announced.
The EU and Jordan confirmed their strong and lasting partnership at the 14th meeting of the Association Council of the EU and Jordan on 2 June 2022, with the adoption of the new Partnership Priorities guiding their cooperation until 2027, in line with the new EU Agenda for the Mediterranean and its Economic and Investment plan.
Based on the new Partnership Priorities, the EU has allocated €364 million for bilateral cooperation with Jordan for the period 2021-2024, focused on three priority areas: Good governance (democratic reforms, rule of law and security, accountability and effective administration); support to green transition and to a resilient economy (green economy & energy-water-food nexus, private sector development) and support to human development (education & higher education, social protection, employability).