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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

€25 Million from Europe to Jordan


Tue 02 Jul 2024 | 11:40 PM
lots of euro bills on the table
lots of euro bills on the table
By Ahmad El-Assasy

Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Zeina Toukan, met with Gert Jan Koopman, Director General of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, who is visiting the Kingdom to discuss development cooperation priorities between Jordan and the European Union and ways to enhance and develop the partnership between the two sides. 

The meeting was also attended by the European Union Ambassador to Jordan, Pierre-Christophe Chatzisavas.

According to a press release from the ministry on Tuesday, the meeting discussed ways to strengthen the partnership between Jordan and the European Union. 

Toukan emphasized the importance of the partnership with the EU as one of Jordan's development partners supporting the developmental and reform priorities that Jordan is working on, in line with the three modernization tracks: economic, political, and administrative.

 The minister briefed the European official on the progress and achievements in the modernization and reform efforts that Jordan is advancing.

The discussions also covered the progress of the European aid program to Jordan and the cooperation areas for the 2024-2027 period, which are being translated into projects in sectors such as education, training, technical and vocational education, tourism, public sector modernization, green transformation, social protection, solid waste management, and water and sanitation. 

The two sides also explored opportunities to develop the existing partnership between Jordan and the EU and the importance of deepening commercial and investment cooperation for mutual benefit.

Minister Toukan discussed with the European official the ongoing impact of hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees on Jordan, emphasizing the importance of translating the commitments made at the Brussels VIII Conference into actual commitments given the dwindling funding for Jordan's response plan to the Syrian crisis. 

She stressed the importance of continued international support for refugees and host communities to provide essential services in sectors like health, education, social protection, and municipal services.

The minister signed two grant agreements worth a total of €25 million as part of the EU's bilateral aid to Jordan for 2023. 

The first grant, worth €15 million, is allocated for a project to support technical and vocational training for all in Jordan, aiming to enhance youth employment opportunities by equipping technical and vocational education and training graduates with the required skills and competencies to achieve economic modernization in Jordan, thereby improving their competitiveness in the labor market by meeting the private sector's skills needs.

The project activities will be implemented through the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with relevant Jordanian entities, and will include a scholarship component to allow students to pursue technical and vocational education, contributing to the labor market-oriented vocational education and higher education and training program, co-financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.

The second grant, worth €10 million, is dedicated to a project supporting sustainable cultural heritage. 

This project aims to enhance the sustainable, inclusive, and competitive tourism sector in Jordan, improve livelihoods in local communities, especially for women, youth, and the most affected groups, and protect archaeological sites in Jordan through the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and relevant bodies. 

It also aims to improve cooperation between civil society organizations, community organizations, the private sector, and relevant institutions in preserving sustainable tourism heritage.

The project will include modernization works at two archaeological sites: Abila (Qweilbah) and Machaerus, and will implement activities in cultural tourism promotion and support civil society in skills development for local communities for the sustainable development of the tourism sector. 

The project activities will be carried out by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and civil society organizations in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Department of Antiquities.

Minister Toukan expressed the Jordanian government's gratitude to the European Union for providing these grants and for the aid that supports the budget and implements projects and programs in priority sectors that align with national programs and priorities within the framework of the three-track modernization visions.

Gert Jan Koopman said, "Through these two new projects, the European Union reaffirms its full commitment to supporting economic and social development in Jordan. We will continue to support Jordan in developing the skills of its youth while preserving its great heritage and fully harnessing the potential of its tourism sector."

He also highlighted the EU's long-term partnership in supporting the vocational and technical education and training sector in Jordan, complementing the existing EU support for the education sector worth €165 million in the Kingdom and providing scholarship opportunities for Jordanian and Syrian students.

The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Bertram von Moltke, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Emilio Frailoni, Acting Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Amman, and several officials from both sides.