Cooperation between Jordan and the Council of Europe
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan
The main objective of cooperation- in line with the Council of Europe’s policy towards its immediate neighbourhood- is to assist Jordan in the process of democratic changes underway. The support involves helping the country to tackle challenges related to human rights, the rule of law and democracy and in particular:
- to consolidate the achievements of the cooperation implemented since 2012 through the “Neighbourhood Cooperation Priorities with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 2012-2014” and to initiate new areas of cooperation in line with national reform priorities, based on the demand-driven approach, in the field of Council of Europe expertise;
- to facilitate the creation of a common legal space between Europe and Jordan, by encouraging the partner country to request accession to key Council of Europe conventions open to non‑member states in conformity with the procedures described in the relevant conventions and by promoting the legal harmonisation of Jordan’s legislation with European and other international standards;
- to provide support to the development and the effective implementation of new legislation in accordance with European and other international standards, according to needs;
- to provide support to the setting-up and the effective functioning of human rights institutions and new governance structures;
- to consolidate Jordan’s presence in Council of Europe’s instances (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) and to encourage its participation in other Council of Europe structures as relevant.
The present framework of cooperation is a flexible, dynamic strategic tool setting out priorities for cooperation between Jordan and the Council of Europe for the period 2015-2017. The main areas of cooperation presented have been identified on the basis of high-level consultations as well as of detailed technical consultations between the Jordanian authorities concerned and the Council of Europe.
Consultations have also been carried out with other international organisations- the European Union (EU) in particular, as the main partner of the Council of Europe’s action in Jordan - and with bilateral actors, so as to ensure a coordinated approach. Hence, the priority areas of cooperation aim to foster synergies between all the relevant actors, in order to avoid duplication.
The implementation of activities foreseen in the Neighbourhood Partnership document has already started, in particular in the framework of the European Union-Council of Europe Joint Programme "Towards strengthened democratic governance in the Southern Mediterranean" (South Programme II, 2015-2017). Cooperation is also pursued under the European Union-Council of Europe Joint Programme “Support to the Jordanian authorities in improving the quality and efficiency of the Jordanian justice system”.
The Council of Europe and Jordan
The relationship between Jordan and the Council of Europe has been enhanced in the context of the implementation of the Neighbourhood Policy established by the Council of Europe in 2011, making Jordan a privileged partner in the region.
Further to the fruitful Neighbourhood Cooperation Dialogue between the Council of Europe and Jordanian authorities and the successful implementation of the Neighbourhood Cooperation Priorities for Jordan in 2012-2014, the Committee of Ministers decided to give a new momentum to the relationship with this country. Cooperation with Jordan, which shares with the Council of Europe the values of human rights, the rule of law and democracy is pursued through a Neighbourhood Partnership combining and strengthening the two pillars of the policy – political dialogue and co-operation – along the lines fixed in Istanbul in 2011. The Neighbourhood Partnership thus offers a framework for an “Enhanced Political Dialogue” the intensity of which could reflect the quality of the cooperation between Jordan and the Council of Europe.
Jordan, which has always expressed an interest in consolidating dialogue and cooperation with the Council of Europe institutions, welcomed the Committee of Ministers’ initiative to open up promising prospects for the enrichment of this mutually-beneficial bilateral partnership.