In addition, the influx of refugees stemming from the conflict in Syria has put further pressure on Jordan’s already struggling economy. Efforts to address the country’s socio-economic problems have so far fallen short due in no small part to the more difficult trade and investment environment created by Jordan’s challenging neighborhood.
To address issues and develop policy recommendations related to Jordan’s external and socio-economic challenges – which reinforce each other rather than constituting separate challenges – 12 mid-level experts from think tanks, academic research institutions, and comparable organizations in Jordan and Europe took part in this four-day workshop. The first two days were dedicated to the analysis and debate of different sub-aspects of the workshop topic. The foreign policy issues discussed included the impact of the Israel/Palestine conflict, Jordan’s foreign policy options in response to the United States’ approach to the region, and the implications of the Gulf Cooperation Council crisis. Topics regarding Jordan’s socio-economic challenges included the impact of compulsory health insurance, measures to address the issue of unemployment, and the potential role of international donors in supporting socio-economic reform in Jordan. On the third and fourth days, participants received training in the writing of policy papers and worked on their own texts.
This workshop was part of the MENA Program’s project to promote think tank work in the Middle East and North Africa. It aims to strengthen the scientific and technical capacities of civil society actors in the region and the EU who are engaged in research and policy analysis and advice.
The event was realized in close cooperation with the West Asia-North Africa Institute (WANA) and with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office and the Institute for International Cultural Relations (ifa).