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EU reaffirms strategic ties with Jordan

Analysts, representatives from businesses and academic institutions, and EU officials, meet for the “bilateral dynamics of the New Agenda for the Mediterranean,” conference on Tuesday. (Photo: Handout
Analysts, representatives from businesses and academic institutions, and EU officials, meet for the “bilateral dynamics of the New Agenda for the Mediterranean,” conference on Tuesday. (Photo: Handout from WANA)
AMMAN — The European Union reasserted its commitment to strengthening its strategic ties with Jordan this week in an event hosted by the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute, according to a recent statement.اضافة اعلان

Involving think tanks and business community representatives, academic institutions, and EU officials, among others, the event explored “bilateral dynamics of the New Agenda for the Mediterranean,” held an “inclusive debate around the EU Joint Communication on the Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighborhood and its implementation in Jordan,” and discussed communication issues.

This comes as part of the EuroMeSCo: Connecting the Dots project, which is co-funded by the EU and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), according to the statement.

EU Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou underscored during the event that the union’s partnership with the southern neighborhood allow both to respond to challenges facing countries like Jordan, proposes real solutions to “common regional problems,” and engenders an “inclusive green growth” that supports COVID-19 recovery.

Hadjitheodosiou added that the main pillars of the joint communication are “human development and good governance; resilience, prosperity, and digital transition; peace and security; migration and mobility; and green transition,” as per the EU Green Deal.

“The EU intends to maintain the strong and broad partnership that it has entertained with Jordan so far: contributing to creating growth and jobs, investing in … human development and capital and sustaining good governance with the broad objective of contributing to the prosperity and stability of the region,” said the ambassador. “Among these three main priorities, we want today to shed more light on two specific areas … : Green growth and Social protection.”

Director of the program at the WANA Institute, Shereen Shaheen, stressed that the EuroMeSCo, a network of 104 Euro-Mediterranean think tanks and research institutes, is “implementing the Connecting the Dots project to contribute to inclusive and evidence-based policymaking.”

The network aims to espouse recommendations on economic development, migration, and security that are in line with the priorities of the European Neighborhood Policy. According to Shaheen, the EU-Jordan partnership is “essential to combat the impact of COVID-19.”

Following two presentations on Jordan’s water sector, Majd Al-Naber, a team leader and senior researcher, said that “the urgency of water resource management in Jordan has never been more needed,” as the sector is bearing the brunt of climate change and Jordan’s increase in population. Naber proposed the adoption of solutions that increase “water use efficiency, decrease non-revenue water, and enhance both water and sanitation network systems.”

Citing a EUROMED survey, senior researcher Kareem Sharabi contended that trade represents the “chief economic interest between Jordan and the EU.” Yet, according to Sharabi, due to “water scarcity and reliance on energy imports constraining Jordan’s manufacturing, authorities need to invest in specialized sectors,” such as information and communications technology sector.

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