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EU Twin­ning projects

EU Twin­ning projects are part­ner­ship projects which were launched by the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion in 1998, ini­tial­ly as a pre-ac­ces­sion in­stru­ment de­signed to as­sist fu­ture mem­ber states in the prepa­ra­tion of their EU mem­ber­ship. Nev­er­the­less, the con­cept of EU Twin­ning has ad­di­tion­al­ly been used in coun­tries with­out any prospects of ac­ces­sion since 2002 and thus evolved in­to an in­sti­tu­tion build­ing in­stru­ment.

In the frame­work of the EU sup­port pro­grammes ENI and IPA, which ex­ist since Jan­uary 2007, the so-called ben­e­fi­cia­ry coun­tries ob­tain sup­port for fun­da­men­tal eco­nom­ic, so­cial and po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tion. Hence it fol­lows that it is es­sen­tial to as­sist these coun­tries with in­sti­tu­tion build­ing, in­vest­ments in the reg­u­la­to­ry in­fras­truc­ture and the strength­en­ing of eco­nom­ic and so­cial co­he­sion. These goals can be achieved through the fi­nanc­ing of tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance as well as the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the twin­ning projects men­tioned above.

Twin­ning projects con­sist of a part­ner­ship be­tween an au­thor­i­ty of an EU mem­ber state and an au­thor­i­ty of the ben­e­fi­cia­ry coun­try which is not (yet) mem­ber of the EU. Here­by, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the EU ac­quis shall be re­al­ized by means of con­cert­ed and of­fi­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive co­op­er­a­tion.

The Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion (BVA) has been in charge of Twin­ning projects since De­cem­ber 2004 and is work­ing on be­half of the Fed­er­al Min­istry of the In­te­ri­or. The BVA is re­spon­si­ble for the ap­pli­ca­tion for and im­ple­men­ta­tion of Twin­ning projects in the field of gen­er­al ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­lat­ing to ad­min­is­tra­tive or­ga­ni­za­tion and mod­ern­iza­tion as well as to is­sues of pub­lic ser­vice, such as cor­rup­tion pre­ven­tion, per­son­nel man­age­ment, da­ta pro­tec­tion and civic par­tic­i­pa­tion.

How does the BVA get in­volved?

Call for pro­pos­als:

Twin­ning projects are put out to ten­der by the ben­e­fi­cia­ry coun­tries via the EU Com­mis­sion. Sub­se­quent­ly, the Ger­man "Na­tion­al Con­tact Point" (NCP), which is the cen­tral in­ter­locu­tor for twin­ning projects, for­wards these ten­ders to the fed­er­al min­istries re­spon­si­ble for the re­spec­tive sub­jects. The Fed­er­al Min­istry of the In­te­ri­or, Di­vi­sion O4, which is the re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ty in the case of the BVA, ex­am­ines the ten­ders and au­tho­rizes an au­thor­i­ty to ap­ply for and im­ple­ment the project in case of po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est.

Sub­mis­sion of pro­pos­als and se­lec­tion pro­cess:

In or­der to ap­ply for a cer­tain twin­ning project, each state first of all has to pre­pare a writ­ten pro­pos­al and sub­mit it to the coun­try of­fer­ing the project. Af­ter­wards, all coun­tries that have sub­mit­ted a writ­ten pro­pos­al are in­vit­ed to present their pro­pos­als. At least the fu­ture "ma­jor ac­tors" of the project, es­pe­cial­ly the Project Lead­er (PL) and the Res­i­dent Twin­ning Ad­vis­er (RTA), are ex­pect­ed to at­tend these meet­ings. How­ev­er, it is com­mon prac­tice to use the oc­ca­sion to in­tro­duce the com­plete core team of the project. Even­tu­al­ly, the ten­der­ing coun­try takes the de­ci­sion on who will be award­ed the con­tract. The Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion in­forms the ap­pli­cants of the se­lec­tion de­ci­sion. Af­ter the award of the con­tract, both part­ner au­thor­i­ties have a time frame of four (in case of IPA) to five (in case of ENI) months to joint­ly de­vel­op a con­crete project de­sign which is in­cor­po­rat­ed in­to a bind­ing Twin­ning Con­tract.

Project im­ple­men­ta­tion:

The ac­tu­al im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project com­mences af­ter the con­clu­sion of the con­tract. In this con­text, the BVA is re­spon­si­ble both for the lead­er­ship and the ad­min­is­tra­tive man­age­ment of the project with all the at­ten­dant du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. As project lead­er, the BVA is the cen­tral con­tact part­ner in ex­change with the EU. It has to make sure in par­tic­u­lar that the goals agreed in the Twin­ning Con­tract are achieved. Fur­ther­more, the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the project lead­er in­clude the ad­min­is­tra­tive and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment of the whole project in ac­cor­dance with a wide set of EU rules.

Fur­ther and more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on pro­cess­es, meth­ods and reg­u­la­tions which have to be ad­hered to dur­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of twin­ning projects can be found in the EU Twinning manual.

We are look­ing for­ward to gain­ing new project part­ners and ex­perts and to an ex­change of ex­pe­ri­ence. If you have any ques­tions, ideas or rec­om­men­da­tions, please feel wel­come to con­tact us.

Twin­ning ac­tiv­i­ties of the BVA:


Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina:






your contact

Mr Di­eter Miebach

+49 (0) 22899 358-1938


Ms An­drea Mi­eth

+49 (0) 22899 358-3938


50728 Köln

Competent organizational unit