Jordan is a strategic partner of the European Union; our closest partner in the region. We want to deepen and to expand our cooperation in the fields of migration and security, where both Jordan and the EU face many common challenges.
Jordan has been showing a true sense of responsibility and commitment to peace, democracy and human rights, playing also a crucial role to ease the repercussions of the conflict and the humanitarian tragedy in Syria. I can only praise the tremendous efforts and generosity of the Jordanian people to welcome refugees.
The European Union will continue to support Jordan by mobilising all possible resources.
Next week I will put forward a new European Agenda on Migration, which will include many concrete actions. Cooperation with key third countries will be a cornerstone of this Agenda. It is essential to tackle the trafficking routes, but also to provide protection in conflict regions and facilitate resettlement.
The EU is already providing substantial humanitarian and development assistance in support of Syrian refugees and host communities.
The humanitarian aid, development assistance and macro-financial support of the EU to Jordan, totals over € 500 million since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011.
The EU is also showing solidarity in the resettlement efforts. So far, EU Member States have pledged a combined number of over 36.000 places. The Commission will continue to encourage Member States to offer additional resettlement places for Syrians in order to help countries like Jordan to deal with a challenge of such great proportions.
I will also closely follow the progress made in the context of the Regional Development and Protection Program for the Middle East - covering Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq - to provide support to long term capacity building for the authorities.
Jordan's readiness to address the issue of migration in a comprehensive manner shows that we share the same understanding on how to approach the phenomenon.
This is also reflected in the Mobility Partnership we signed last October.
We must now ensure its full and effective implementation, with concrete actions and projects that reflect Jordan's interests. For instance, I am confident that we can soon start the negotiations on the Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements.
Jordan was the first country in the Middle East with whom the EU signed a Mobility Partnership and I hope it can serve as an example for other countries in the region.
Migration and mobility is not the only area where the EU and Jordan share common concerns.
With no immediate perspectives for improvement in Libya and the growing threat of the Islamic State, we need to strengthen our cooperation in the field of security.
Security matters for all of us. To address the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, we need to work together in a more comprehensive way. We have a shared interest in preventing and countering the influx of violent extremists into Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.
The fight against terrorism and radicalisation is a major focus of the new European Agenda on Security, which was put forward last week by the Commission.
It includes concrete actions for the next five years. For instance, to boost our efforts against radicalisation we will set up an EU knowledge hub, building on the work of our Radicalisation Awareness Network. This 'centre of excellence' will strengthen the exchange of experiences among practitioners who are directly engaged in preventing radicalisation and violent extremism at local level. It will also encourage prevention initiatives inside and outside Europe.
I believe that this is one project where we could deepen our cooperation.