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. The Twinning aim is to support and 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 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 country or potential candidate.  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’ consists of the provision by a Member State of well-defined public sector expertise, generally involving the delivery of short or medium term expertise by officials (civil servants), and/or, less frequently, civil servant experts staying for longer periods. Given their limited scope and duration, ‘Twinning Light’ projects fall short of building longer term structural links between public administrations, which is indeed one of the broader objectives of standard Twinning. The financial ceiling for ‘Twinning Light’ projects has been set at € 250.000 and their maximum duration (time span for Twinning activities) limited to 6 month “implementation period”. In exceptional cases this can be extended to 8 months. This duration is supplemented by the standard 3 month “execution period” foreseen for inception and reporting. Apart from these ceilings, there are several main differences between standard Twinning and ‘Twinning light’:

  • The absence of a Resident Twinning Advisor.
  • The absence of a jointly designed work plan. This enables the project to be approved in shorter delays. However, the project fiche has to very precisely define the requested input and cooperation. To achieve the set objectives and mandatory result will remain essential. This implies the absence of reimbursement of preparatory costs;
  • No Consortia of MS partners allowed;
  • No purchase of equipment or private sector services subcontracting allowed except for translation and interpretation where necessary.

All of these distinguishing factors underscore that ‘Twinning light’ project must allow for a quick mobilisation of targeted public sector assistance. Please note that Calls for Twinning Proposals are neither published at the CFCD website nor at EuropeAid website but are sent for circulation to the National Twinning Contact Points in Members States by the European Union Delegation in the country.

Twinning Manual and other relevant documents:

Twinning Network:

Twinning National Contact Point in the Republic of Macedonia:

Twinning projects under DIS in the Republic of Macedonia:

Latest information regarding:

  • Upcoming deadlines for circulated Twinning Project Fiches;
  • Results for Twinning Project Fiches circulated;
  • Twinning News;
  • List of Mandated bodies;
  • etc.

can be obtained at the official EC website dedicated to Twinning:

Twinning Seminar (26 – 28 October 2010)

The 2007 Twinning Light Project “Capacity Building for the Management of EU Funds and IPA within the Central Financing and Contracting Department and the National Fund” headed by the Lithuanian Administration held a three-day Twinning Seminar dedicated to theoretical lectures and practical exercises for the staff of CFCD and NAO/NF of the Ministry of Finance as project beneficiaries as well as the SPO/IPA Coordinators of the Line Ministries. As a result around 30 participants attended the Twinning Seminar.

Seminar Agenda:

Seminar Presentations:

Seminar Photos: