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Rome Treaties — key step towards peace

Mar 25,2017 - Last updated at Mar 25,2017

On March 25, the European Union marked 60 years since the signature of the Rome Treaties, the first step towards a united Europe.

Since the birth of the European Communities in 1957, the citizens of our member states have enjoyed six decades of unprecedented peace, prosperity and security.

The contrast to the first half of the 20th Century could not be greater.

Two catastrophic wars in Europe, between 1914 and 1945, left millions dead, and a continent devastated, divided and prostrate.

For countries that had long been at war, European integration has been the most successful peace project in our history.

However, we are living in unpredictable times and the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties is the opportunity not only to reaffirm our commitment to the values and objectives on which the European project is founded, but also to take pragmatic and ambitious steps forward. 

The world is going through a time of great uncertainty: the global balance of power is shifting and the foundations of a rules-based international order are too often being questioned.

The EU will be an increasingly vital power to preserve and strengthen the global order.

The EU is the second global economy. We are the largest global market and the leading foreign investor in most parts of the globe.

The EU has achieved a strong position by acting together with one voice on the global stage, by playing a key role in removing barriers to trade as a member of the World Trade Organisation, as well as concluding bilateral trade deals with many important partners around the world — such as the recent CETA deal with Canada.

This allowed EU exporting firms to flourish and create over 30 million jobs.

We invest more in development cooperation and humanitarian aid than the rest of the world combined.

The EU is increasingly active as a global security provider. 

It is, and will continue to be, a strong, cooperative and reliable power.

Our partners know what we stand for: multilateralism, human rights and international cooperation.

We also stand for sustainable development, inclusive societies, the fight against all inequalities — in education, in democracy and human rights.

For us, this is not charity: it is a smart investment in our own security and prosperity.

Today, the EU is the world’s largest financial donor of development aid that goes to around 150 countries in the world.

In the period 2014-2020, about 75 per cent of EU support will go to countries which are often hard hit by natural disasters or conflict, something that makes their citizens particularly vulnerable.

The EU is the only donor worldwide that gives support in all countries that are fragile or suffer from conflict.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, for instance, the EU has been the largest single donor of humanitarian aid to care for the millions of men, women and children displaced by the conflict.

Whatever events may bring in the future, one thing is certain: the EU will continue to put promoting international peace and security, development cooperation, human rights and responding to humanitarian crises at the heart of its foreign and security policies.

But what does this mean for Jordan?

As we mark the anniversary of the Rome Treaties today, we also celebrate 30 years of Erasmus, 25 years of the single market, and 15 years of Jordan-EU Association Agreement.

On this particular occasion, we are honoured to look back at the support provided by the EU and its member states to help the government of Jordan and Jordanian citizens cope with domestic and regional challenges.

We remind Jordanians that they are not alone, as the Kingdom, with its outstanding political engagement in the region, remains a key partner of the EU.

From 2007 to 2016, the EU extended about 2 billion euros to Jordan, in the form of bilateral cooperation, humanitarian aid, support for resilience as well as two loan operations in support to IMF programmes.

Aside from supporting the government of Jordan, we have also worked with the private sector, supporting hundreds of companies and creating thousands of jobs.

We have been a staunch supporter of civil society and exchange programmes, engaging with hundreds of community-based organisations and providing scholarships for thousands of Jordanian students through the Erasmus programme.

A strong EU-Jordan partnership has never been more important than now, where Jordan is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and extremism, and has shown tremendous solidarity in hosting a massive influx of Syrian refugees.

We have responded to Jordan’s needs in dealing with the refugee crisis as the EU and its member states delivered on pledges made at the London conference, with $1.4 billion mobilised in 2016 alone.

On April 5, the EU will host in Brussels an international ministerial conference to step up support for the future of Syria and the region.

On this special day for the EU, we confirm our common values and long-lasting partnership with Jordan and look forward to further enhancing our ties.

 

 

The writer is ambassador of the European Union to Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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Comments

Since when was Rome a liason between our countries? We never said we wanted Rome to be the alma mater of European idealism during tumultuous times. We fought to suppress and destroy the Romans, not to make them the materna liasèiose. Get your Rome treaties and their resurrection conspirators and throw them in the pit where they belong!

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