Key features of Twinning
Twinning projects are based on common objectives of EU Policies
The objectives of Twinning projects are based on Common EU Policies. Twinning partners reach an agreement on detailed Work Plan related to achievement of goals in connection with harmonization with the Acquis of the European Union as stated in primary political documents of the European Union.
Beneficiary country retains ownership over Twinning project
Beneficiary country has the right to select Twinning partner, i.e. EU member state which it considers the most competent for implementation of relevant Twinning project. Beneficiary country and member state are Twinning partners and jointly cooperate in drafting Work Plan. The success of Twinning project highly depends on beneficiary country’s determination for implementation of reforms and required reorganization. Accordingly, Twinning project’s ownership rests entirely with beneficiary country.
Twinning projects result in implementation of the Acquis of the European Union in relevant area
Twinning projects must achieve results related to implementation of priority areas of the Acquis of the European Union. Successful project contains clearly defined and achievable objectives.
All Twinning partners are obligated to give their contribution for realization of jointly agreed results during the entire implementation period. Progress is monitored through regular reports.
Twinning projects are based on exchange of expertise between experts from public sector
Twinning is based on exchange of knowledge and expertise between experts from public sector. Areas covered by Twinning fall exclusively under jurisdiction of the state.
Twinning projects are associated with partnerships formed for the purpose of realization of close cooperation
Relationship between member state and beneficiary country implies partnership which includes joint responsibility for achievement of agreed mandatory results.
Twinning provides technical and administrative assistance in process which facilitate development of long-term relationships between old, new and prospective EU member states. Moreover, Twinning gives contribution to approximation of beneficiary country’s administrative practices to those of EU member states.
Who is who in Twinning
Twinning is implemented and organized by:
- Beneficiary country
- EU member state
- European Commission
Roles of Twinning stakeholders
EU member state
From EU member state’s point of view, relevant institution within the framework of its public administration participates in implementation of Twinning project. Namely, EU member state partner’s institution sends required experts who will be engaged in Twinning project implementation. Project team members are:
- Project Leader
Project Leader is a high ranking official of EU member state who is able to provide institutional support for project and thus ensure its successful implementation.
- Resident Twinning Advisor – RTA
RTA is civil servant from the EU member state institution seconded to relevant institution in beneficiary country. RTA, as backbone of Twinning project, works in beneficiary institution during project implementation period. The success of project implementation often depends on RTA’s expertise, flexibility and dedication.
- Short-Term Experts - STEs
In order to ensure successful project implementation, EU member state partner must carefully select its Short Term Experts who directly participate in implementation of project activities and realization of the achievement of mandatory results in cooperation with beneficiary institution.
National Contact Points (NCPs) from both EU member states and Twinning instrument beneficiary countries also perform an important role. NCP has an important role in promotion and coordination of Twinning project, especially in communication, channelling information on process and developments in each Twinning project phase.
NCP from EU member state performs the following roles:
- central communication point between European Commission and EU member state, as well as between National Contact Points of other EU member states and beneficiary countries
- forwards information to institutions of MS public administrations and provides assistance in implementation of Twinning project and preparation of Twinning contract
- receives and forwards Calls for Twinning Proposals to interested institutions
Beneficiary Country (BC)
Beneficiary institutions participate in implementation of Twinning project in beneficiary country (mostly ministries and state agencies). The following persons are appointed within the framework of each Twinning project:
- BC Project Leader (usually state official who is able to ensure adequate project implementation through his/her high-rank position)
- RTA counterpart
- Counterparts of Short Term Experts within the framework of project
Authorized implementing body also participates in implementation of Twinning project (Administrative Office – CFCA), which performs the role of contracting authority; i.e. concludes the contract with relevant EU member state institution.
An important role in beneficiary country is performed by BC National Contact Point for Twinning. He/she is responsible for development and coordination of activities related to Twinning project and has the following duties:
- Central communication point between European Commission and beneficiary country, as well as between National Contact Points of other beneficiary countries and EU member states
- Forwards information to beneficiary institutions and provides assistance in development of Twinning project and drafting Twinning contract
- Coordinates administration of all activities within the framework of Twinning project and resolves eventual administrative issues
- Provides assistance to beneficiary institutions in implementation of procedural, financial and technical provisions of Twinning Manual
European Commission performs an important role in various stages of Twinning project life cycle.
Key roles of the European Commission are the following:
- Setting priorities for allocation of EU funds for Twinning projects and programming in the framework of respective financial instruments (e.g. PHARE, CARDS, IPA)
- Setting up legal, financial and procedural framework for Twinning projects for the purpose of ensuring transparency and consolidated implementation, as well as coordination of all stakeholders
- Formal review of detailed Work Plan through Steering Committee and estimation of its credibility in relation with mandatory result
- Implementation of induction training for RTAs in Bruxelles, as well as monitoring and evaluation of project flow through prescribed interim reports and final report
- Administrative support, including overall coordination, counselling on rules and processes, Twinning Manual and direct support for project implementation.