Boosting co-operation through twinning
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 2003, twinning has been available to some of the Newly Independent States of eastern Europe and to countries of the Mediterranean region.
Twinning projects bring together public sector expertise from EU Member States and beneficiary countries with the aim of enhancing co-operative activities. They must yield concrete operational results for the beneficiary country under the terms of the Association Agreement between that country and the EU.
Please find the latest issues of Twinning News:
Twinning news N°17 - December 2009 [131 KB]
Work undertaken must also meet the requirements of an action plan written under the guidance of the EU’s New Neighbourhood Policy. All twinning projects must also have their own work plan and agreed budget. A detailed presentation of the twinning procedures are outlined in the Common Twinning Manual and the respective annexes:
- Twinning Manual 2012 [520 KB] (valid for all contracts for which the official letter of notification of selection has been issued as from 2 April 2012)
- Annexes [743 KB]
- Twinning Manual 2009 [547 KB] (valid for all contracts for which the official letter of notification of selection has been issued as from 15 September 2009)
- Annexes [751 KB]
- Twinning Manual 2007 [497 KB] (valid for all Twinning contracts for which the official letter of notification of selection has been issued as from 01 September 2007)
- Annexes [761 KB]
- Twinning Manual 2005 [382 KB] (valid for all Twinning contracts for which the official letter of notification of selection has been issued as from 15 June 2005)
- Annexes [510 KB]
For additional information, please read the brochure about the Twinning Cooperation in the Neighbouring Countries [336 KB] and the Activity reports: Activity report 2011 [893 KB] , Activity report 2010 [2 MB] , Activity report 2009 [2 MB] and Activity report 2008 [2 MB] . You may also consult the webpage of the Directorate General for Enlargement on Twinning.
1st Evaluation of the Institutional Twinning Instrument in the Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy – Final report [7 MB]
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, local authorities and other public sector organisations.
Twinning projects are built around the secondment of at least one full-time Member State expert who then goes to work in a beneficiary country administration: they are called Resident Twinning Advisers (RTAs) and are accredited by the European Commission. Projects can also include a number of other actions, usually run by relevant public bodies, including workshops, training sessions, expert missions and counselling.
Neighbouring countries in which the Commission’s twinning initiative is available are:
South: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
East: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Gerogia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Read a concrete example of a Twinning project in Jordan [564 KB] .
Twinning National Contact Points [159 KB] in Beneficiary Countries
Twinning National Contact Points [100 KB] in Member States
Institution Building days 2012
The Annual Meeting for the Institution Building instruments, jointly organised by the Directorates-General Enlargement and Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, brings together the National Contact Points (NCPs) for the Twinning, TAIEX and SIGMA instruments from the beneficiary partners and the 27 EU Member States.
Agenda [146 KB]
- Lessons learned - Christine Kivin [407 KB]
- [715 KB]
- Twinning in the European Neighbourhood - Christophe Ingels [584 KB]
- Head of SIGMA Programme - Karen Hill [198 KB]
- Interoperability of Institution Building Instruments - Marwan Al-Refai [152 KB]
- The 2012 Revision of the Common Twinning Manual - Twinning Coordination Team [242 KB]
- The Cycle of a TAIEX request - Nicolò Gasparini [2 MB]
In addition to meeting requirements laid down in the EU’s agreements with third countries, twinning must also aim at developing structural reforms. At the end of a project, any new or adapted system must be self-sufficient and function under the auspices of the beneficiary country.
Projects must also include some 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.
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 and take on board change: the twinning project is not about the EU providing one-way technical assistance.