Twinning is a European Commission initiative that was originally designed to help candidate countries acquire the necessary skills and experience to adopt, implement and enforce EU legislation. Since 2004, twinning is also available to some of the eastern and southern Neighbourhood partner countries.
Twinning projects bring together public sector expertise from EU Member States and beneficiary countries with the aim of enhancing cooperative activities. They must yield concrete operational results for the beneficiary country under the terms of the Association Agreement between that country and the EU.
To set up projects, the Commission relies on the co-operation and administrative experience of Member States. They are expected to mobilise experts from government and other public sector organisations.
Twinning projects are built around the secondment of at least one full-time Member State expert – the Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) who goes to work in a beneficiary country administration. Projects mobilise a number actions run by the MS public body(ies) partner(s) to the project, including workshops, training sessions, expert missions, study visits and counselling.
ENP countries in which the Twinning tool is available are:
• South: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
• East: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The local partner in a twinning should be represented by a public body that is capable of working with a Member State organisation which has a similar structure and function. The beneficiary country partner must be able to adapt, take on board change and make it sustainable: the twinning project is not about the EU providing one-way technical assistance.
Twinnings are designed to bring about changes both in the structure of the beneficiary institution and in the regulatory framework of a given domain in which the beneficiary institution plays a significant role.
Regulatory changes must include elements relating to the adoption of EU legislation. An approximation to the acquis communautaire is called for, rather than full integration of EU legislation as was demanded of the candidate countries.
Twinning Manual 2012 – Update 2013-2014 and annexes (valid for projects circulated from 1st January 2013) (FR)