Syrian crisis: EU ready to step up on partnerships with Lebanon and Jordan
October 17, 2016
EU foreign affairs ministers, gathering in Luxembourg, agreed on the way forward on partnership priorities and compacts with Jordan for the period 2016-2018 and with Lebanon for the period 2016-2020. The partnership priorities will guide the EU’s bilateral relations with the two countries. The compacts are the framework through which the mutual commitments made at the London Conference on “Supporting Syria and The Region Conference” (February 2016) are translated into actions.
EU-Jordan partnership priorities are set to include regional stability and security, including counter-terrorism; economic stability, sustainable and knowledge-based growth, quality education and job creation and democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights.
The EU-Jordan compact foresees amongst other EU additional financial support and simplified rules for Jordanian exports of a large number of products from 18 special economic zones towards the EU for a 10 year duration, provided job opportunities are given to Syrian refugees, along Jordanians. Under the compact, Jordan will make it possible for more Syrian children to take part in education and vocational training.
Partnership priorities in EU-Lebanon relations for the coming years are set to include: security and countering terrorism, governance and the rule of law, fostering growth and job opportunities, migration and mobility.
The EU-Lebanon compact foresees EU additional financial support and increased assistance in a number of policy areas. Lebanon would continue seeking ways to improve the regulatory framework in relation to registration and residence permits for refugees. Lebanon currently hosts 1.5 million Syrians. It is the country hosting the highest number of displaced and refugees, both per capita and per square kilometre.
The partnership priorities and the compacts are expected to be jointly adopted respectively at the EU-Jordan Association Council and the EU-Lebanon Association Council, both due to take place in the coming weeks.(EU Neighbourhood Info)