Twinning projects have the aim of assisting EU candidate countries and potential EU candidate countries with adopting EU law (the acquis communautaire) and with building the necessary administrative capacity ('institution building'). Certain neighbouring countries can also participate in the twinning programme. In their case, the emphasis is placed on approximation to EU law and EU standards.
(Potential) candidate countries can take part in the "Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance" (IPA) and neighbouring countries can join the "European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument" (ENPI). As part of both programmes, experts from the public administrations of EU Member States pass on their know-how and experience with the transposition of EU law to their colleagues in the respective partner country.
The "backbone" of each project is the Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) from the EU Member State leading the project. The RTA normally works in the foreign partner administration for one or two years - in other words, for the entire duration of the project - and advises the colleagues there on how to implement specific project targets. Two project leaders, one on behalf of the EU Member State leading the project, the other of the beneficiary administration, support the RTAs in their work.
The IPA programme, which prepares a country for accession to the EU, includes the candidate countries (i.e. Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) and the potential candidates of the Western Balkans, (i.e. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo).
Under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Twinning Programme is also available to countries that are not candidates for accession but could profit from forging closer ties with the EU or from twinning - a flexible and demand-oriented instrument for institution-building - and that want to promote equitable social and economic development. The content of the respective programme is based on the ENP action plans. The recipient countries are divided into two regions:
a. The Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia),
b. The Newly Independent States (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine).
The projects that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs conducts primarily involve
- occupational safety and health,
- the coordination of the social security systems in the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland,
- the promotion of free movement of workers in the EU,
- the development of employment and social policies,
- the modernisation of the public employment services,
- the European Employment Strategy,
- social dialogue,
- questions regarding social inclusion and
- the European Social Fund. In Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy serves as the coordinator for the twinning projects.
Persons who work in the public sector can be deployed in these projects as project leaders, resident twinning advisors or short-term experts. If you are interested, please contact:
Division VI b 1 International Labour and Social Policy, Twinning
Tel.: 030 18 527 1284
Further information about twinning can be found on the website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/tenders/twinning/index_en.htm