EU and Jordan sign financing agreement on cross-border cooperation in the Mediterranean
The European Union and Jordan have signed a financing agreement on the implementation of the Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) "Mediterranean Sea Basin" Programme, funded in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).
The conclusion of the financing agreement is a key step for the participation of Jordanian organizations as calls for proposals will be launched starting from the first half of 2017 once all Mediterranean Partner Countries sign a financing agreement with the EU.
With a budget of €234.5 million (including EU funding and co-financing), the ENI CBC Med Programme aims to fund Euro-Mediterranean cooperation projects in four main sectors, namely business and SMEs development; innovation and technological transfer; fight against poverty and social inclusion; environmental sustainability.
H.E Imad N. Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, expressed "deep appreciation to the European Union for extending the support to this new phase of the Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme."
Minister Fakhoury highlighted that Jordan’s participation in the Programme demonstrates its continued support to the initiatives pertaining to regional cooperation. "Jordan will continue its endeavor in this regard as it firmly believes that the ENI CBC Med Programme offers a unique opportunity for all partners and participating countries to widen their cooperation through creating real partnerships and implementing effective projects that contribute to addressing common challenges the region faces."
The Minister said that with "62 Jordanian partners involved in 47 projects, Jordan has been actively participating in the first phase of the Programme (2007-2013) through the three calls for proposals where different Jordanian institutions representing universities, public and private institutions, municipalities, research centers and non-profit organizations have taken part in a significant number of projects in partnership with counterparts from EU and Mediterranean countries." The Minister added that "the projects implemented in Jordan are in line with the Government of Jordan’s policies and strategies in different sectors such as renewable energy, water, agriculture, solid waste management, tourism, environment, sustainable development and investment."
Minister Fakhoury reiterated "Jordan’s commitment to further cooperating with the partner countries under the new generation of the Programme."
The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation is the National Authority of the ENI CBC Med Programme for Jordan. In addition, the Ministry will represent Jordan in the Joint Monitoring Committee, which is the decision-making body of the Programme. Jordan also hosts the Programme Branch Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, established within the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). The main tasks of the Branch Office are to disseminate the opportunities offered by the ENI CBC med Programme and support the Managing Authority in the implementation and monitoring of funded projects.
H.E Ambassador Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador of the European Union to Jordan, said: "We greatly value the spirit of the cooperation between European and Mediterranean partners, through which we aim to extend to a larger geographical area including the Member States and Neighbouring countries sharing a land border, a sea crossing or a sea basin, from the Arctic to the Southern Mediterranean". Ambassador Fontana commended and added that "Jordan performed well, as the total value of funded projects was of €17.6 million and the country was in the top five beneficiaries out of the thirteen countries participating. I wish Jordan will maintain its high interest in the programme and excellent proposals will again be selected".
Following Tunisia, Jordan is the second Mediterranean Partner Country (MPC) to conclude a financing agreement with the EU. the signing of financing agreements is a key step for the participation of MPCs as it allows organizations from Partner Countries to be fully eligible under the calls for proposals and receive ENI CBC Med funds.
More information on the first call for standard projects can be found here.