Economic Policy Development Forum Hosts EU Ambassador to Jordan

APRIL 21, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) The Economic Policy Development Forum (EPDF) organized a roundtable discussion session hosting Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Jordan HE Joanna Wronecka.

At the beginning of the session attended by representatives of the EU and diplomatic missions, members of the Parliament in addition to representatives of the public and private sectors and the media, HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), welcomed Ms. Wronecka stating that she speaks Arabic fluently as she holds a PhD in Arabic Philosophy giving a brief of her long service at various diplomatic posts.

Moreover, he referred to a decision adopted by the Secretariat of the League of Arab States (LAS) within Egypt’s initiative that was launched at the 2014 Kuwait Summit to eradicate illiteracy in the Arab world over the next decade.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh revealed that TAG-Org has participated in this initiative upon an invitation from LAS Secretariat noting that it will be implemented in cooperation with Higher Coordination Committee of the Arab Literacy Decade, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), and all states member of the Higher Coordination Committee in all issues related to the execution of the Decade.

At the same time, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stressed on the significant long partnership between TAG-Org and the European Union in scientific research and information infrastructure projects at the level of Jordan and Arab world at large.

Moreover, he highlighted the enormous importance which he devotes to the education sector and his keenness to develop this vital sector from all aspects stating that the Organization is set to initiative a project to teach the Arabic language

saying that “work is under process to prepare a unified book on the Arabic language and corresponding to the TOEFL test in Arabic (TOFAL) subject that the Organization would be the only entity that conducts the exams.”

For her part, Ms. Wronecka expressed her appreciation to the enormous efforts of Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh in all fields that made him an example to all at the regional and European levels.

She began the dialogue saying that over the past ten years, the partnership with Jordan has been extremely successful and has been conducted in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) “despite this success, the ENP has not always been able to offer adequate responses to the changing aspirations of EU partners. That is why the EU has proposed a far-reaching review of this policy, and it needs to look at four key points.”

Mrs. Wronecka added “there is a need to increase the scope of differentiation between partners, which entails identifying the differences between countries and adopting new ways to deal with them each according to its aspirations, requirements and diversities. The EU should focus on supporting specific sectors in order to achieve the highest benefit for the partner state.”

The last point raised by the EU Ambassador was flexibility and this means being able to react to changing circumstances, and crises: “adapting our priorities and their implementation to new realities when they arise.”

The Ambassador highlighted that the EU made a lot of progress in its bilateral relations with Jordan. She mentioned that enhancing EU-Jordan relations, politically and economically, is in the EU’s and Jordan’s mutual interest and benefit adding that this significant relation gave Jordan an Advanced Status with the EU since 2010. She stressed that the EU will continue to support Jordan in the future.

Addressing the support to Jordan, the Ambassador added that throughout the period 2007-2013, Jordan received approximately 500 million euros along with implementing new projects. The EU also supported Jordan to handle the impact of the Syrian crisis, as it has provided so far around 0.5 billion euros since 2011 in humanitarian, crisis response and development. In addition to all of this, Jordan enjoys the possibility to benefit from a wide range of EU thematic instruments such as the Neighborhood Regional Programs, the Partnership Instrument and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.

At the end of the event, it was agreed that the EPDF would prepare a paper on what Jordan needs from the European Union within the consultation plan issued by the EU to discuss these requirements. The Ambassador said that she will provide the Forum with a paper that illustrates the EU vision on this issue to study it, and the Forum would submit its recommendations to the Ministry of Planning in due time.