Twinning is an initiative of the European Commission that was launched in 1998 in the context of the preparation for enlargement of the European Union for Central European countries. It was conceived as an instrument for targeted administrative co-operation to assist Candidate Countries to strengthen their administrative and judicial capacity to implement Community legislation as future Member States (MS) of the European Union.
Since than more than 1300 Twinning projects have been implemented and financed under CARDS and PHARE pre-accession instruments. Twinning continues to play a vital role in the context of Institution Building in the new MS under the Transition Facility (TF) and it remains a crucial Institution building instrument in the present CC (Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey).
In the Western Balkans, Twinning started in the summer of 2002 for certain Institution Building programmes, mainly in Justice and Home Affairs. It is now available regardless of the specific sector in the context of IPA.
The main Twinning aim is to help beneficiary countries in the development of modern and efficient administrations, with the structures, human resources and management skills required in order to implement the acquis communautaire. Twinning provides the framework for administrations and semi-public organisations in the beneficiary countries to work with their counterparts in Member States.
The main feature of a Twinning project is that it sets out to deliver specific and guaranteed results and not to foster general co-operation. The parties agree in advance on a detailed work programme to meet an objective concerning priority areas of the acquis, as set out in the Accession Partnerships.
The key input from the Member State administration to effect longer-term change is in the core team of long-term seconded EU experts, practitioners in the implementation of the acquis, to the new Member State, acceding, candidate or potential candidate country. Each Twinning project has at least one Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) and a Project leader. The RTA is seconded from a Member State administration or from another approved body in a Member State to work full time for a minimum of 12 months in the corresponding ministry in partner country to implement the project. The Project Leader is responsible for the overall thrust and coordination of the project. They are supplemented by carefully planned and timed missions of other specialists, training events, awareness raising visits, etc to accompany the reform process towards the targeted result.
On the other hand, Twinning light contracts, have a few short term experts and it last from 6 to 8 months. Additionally, Twinning light contracts do not exceed budget over 250.000,00 euros.
It is important to mention that calls for twinning proposal are not published at the CFCD website and EuropeAid website but are sent for circulation to the National Twinning Contact Points in members states.
National Twinning Contact Point:
Orhideja Kaljosevska, MA
Head of Sector for coordination of EU funds and other foreign assistance,
Secretariat for European Affairs
Tel: (+389 2) 3200 139