Despite regional security crises and a troubled economy, Jordan has remained largely stable as efforts are ongoing to build the country’s resilience through difficult times of austerity. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is formally a constitutional Monarchy, with a bicameral Parliament. Although progress has been made towards parliamentary democracy and increased decentralisation in line with the King’s position papers, there is still more to be done to modernise parliamentary practices, promote pluralism, and facilitate dialogue between elected representatives and the wider population.
With a focus on engaging more women and young people, the EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development (EU-JDID) programme works at the parliamentary and political party level, as well as engaging civil society organisations and a credible electoral process. The consortium is led by the European Centre for Electoral Support and implemented in partnership with the European Partnership for Democracy, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and the French Agency for Media Cooperation.
WFD is working to upgrade the IT infrastructure of Parliament to make it the most advanced in the region, to develop the capacity of research staff and committees, support the parliamentary blocs system, support outreach and engagement particularly of women and youth and to develop human resources structures and capacity. In implementing this programme, WFD has drawn on regional and international expertise including secondments from the Dutch and Westminster Parliaments, a mechanism that allows for longer term mentoring, experience sharing, and bi-lateral peer relationships.
Active in Jordan from 2012, WFD helped establish the first ever parliamentary Legislative Studies and Research Centre (LSRC), supported closely by libraries in the UK House of Commons and the devolved assemblies. Fully operational since June 2014, the Jordanian Parliament’s research centre provides an essential service for Jordanian MPs in conducting their legislative and oversight roles. WFD continues to provide ongoing technical and strategical support to the LSRC as part of the EUJDID programme through training workshops, sharing of best practice, and on the job mentoring provided through a secondment with the UK House of Commons Library.
WFD implemented the first ever induction programme for MPs in 2016, as well as collaborating on the implementation of induction programmes for the 18th Parliament in 2017.