Analysis of the National Indicative Programme (2011-2013) of Jordan

22-01-2010

An active partner in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Jordan was one of the first countries to have signed an Association Agreement (AA) in 1997. The ENP Action Plan comprises of support in political, social and economic areas, with the aim of moving Jordan closer to EU’s set of common values. Jordanian government has shown a strong commitment to reforms in the social and economic areas; however, reforms in the political area have been uneven. Part of the reason for this slow process could be the worsening regional situation surrounding Jordan. Key challenges include a marked change in the political situation in the region with the new Iraqi government, in particular the influx of a large number of Iraqi refugees; the Gaza crisis, which escalated substantially since the Israeli offensive of the end of 2008; and, a general lack of tangible progress in the Middle East Peace Process. Under the new NIP, Jordan benefits from the ENP’s financial assistance in the sustainability of the growth process. The key programmes under this area aim to close the gap between skills attained and demanded; enhance the development of renewable energy sources; and, improve local development through decentralisation and better cooperation between municipalities. Support in the area of trade and investment is continued; however capacity building assistance for the services sector are withdrawn, which could be problematic as Jordan stands to gain from diversifying its export offer. Lastly, although political reforms are deemed as a priority, they are not properly supported by the government or by the new NIP.

An active partner in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Jordan was one of the first countries to have signed an Association Agreement (AA) in 1997. The ENP Action Plan comprises of support in political, social and economic areas, with the aim of moving Jordan closer to EU’s set of common values. Jordanian government has shown a strong commitment to reforms in the social and economic areas; however, reforms in the political area have been uneven. Part of the reason for this slow process could be the worsening regional situation surrounding Jordan. Key challenges include a marked change in the political situation in the region with the new Iraqi government, in particular the influx of a large number of Iraqi refugees; the Gaza crisis, which escalated substantially since the Israeli offensive of the end of 2008; and, a general lack of tangible progress in the Middle East Peace Process. Under the new NIP, Jordan benefits from the ENP’s financial assistance in the sustainability of the growth process. The key programmes under this area aim to close the gap between skills attained and demanded; enhance the development of renewable energy sources; and, improve local development through decentralisation and better cooperation between municipalities. Support in the area of trade and investment is continued; however capacity building assistance for the services sector are withdrawn, which could be problematic as Jordan stands to gain from diversifying its export offer. Lastly, although political reforms are deemed as a priority, they are not properly supported by the government or by the new NIP.

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SOFRECO PARIS, FRANCE