Expert Missions, Study Visits and Assessment Missions

Technical assistance through the TAIEX instrument comes in many different forms and across a wide range of areas. Partner administrations can benefit from TAIEX's flexibility to help meet wider training needs in EU legislation by reaching a significant number of officials. At the same time, it is important to retain an awareness of and be responsive to more targeted requests. In this regard, the expert and study visit format, depending entirely on requests received from beneficiary partners, provides a complementary institution building service.

As with other TAIEX training formats, experts and study visits are designed to provide short term assistance to beneficiary countries on the approximation and implementation of EU legislation. Study visits are visits made by a limited number of officials of the beneficiary countries to Member State administrations. They give an opportunity to the beneficiaries to work alongside Member State officials to discuss legislation, experience first-hand administrative procedures and infrastructure and see examples of best practices. Expert missions on the other hand involve usually one or two Member State experts travelling to beneficiary partner countries. They provide an opportunity to discuss draft legislation, present examples of best practices and lend assistance where requested. The preferred format is working sessions involving an exchange of knowledge between the beneficiary countries and the experts.

Assessment Missions are a peer-based exercise. The purpose is to identify needs, provide a gap analysis or elaborate a strategy in a given sector. This approach has proved a useful mechanism to address different needs for beneficiary countries. The delivery of assistance to the Turkish Cypriot community is a good example of this. In this context, assessment missions are aimed at evaluating legislation and administrative capacity in a range of sectors and at developing in close cooperation with local counterparts a structured plan for future technical assistance. This is similarly the case for administrations of the potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans where there is a need to develop a technical assistance road map for the medium term.