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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

TAIEX & Twinning Annual Activity Report

TAIEX and Twinning highlights banner


Olivér Várhelyi

Dear Friends of TAIEX and Twinning,

The last two years have been a period of intense innovation and transition for the European Commission’s institution building instruments. Re-imagining peer-to-peer exchanges in a digital format in 2020 was a milestone for our community and allowed TAIEX and Twinning to continue bringing added value despite the pandemic. In 2021, we demonstrated that the combination of virtual, hybrid and in-person activities enables us to support our partners better, increase our reach, deliver faster and with even more flexibility.

Just as our work on combatting COVID-19 and supporting the recovery progressed, TAIEX and Twinning also assisted in the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plans in the enlargement and neighbourhood regions. In the Western Balkans, the instruments are contributing with peer exchanges and best practices to complement EU funding of up to €9 billion in flagship areas such as transport, energy, green and digital transition. TAIEX and Twinning support our partner country administrations as they update transport strategies, improve waste management and digitalise procedures.

The numbers speak for themselves. Last year, we organised 38% more TAIEX events than in 2020. We contributed to building mutual trust and promoting our values both in the EU and globally. Our role was recognised in the Council Conclusions in November 2021, which pointed at TAIEX and Twinning as key instruments of public technical assistance in the EU's external action.

TAIEX and Twinning are now fully global, thanks to our cooperation with DG INTPA and the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments. TAIEX is also expanding to local authorities in the Western Balkans, where our goal is to support good governance from the ground up. We will continue broadening the offer of EU expertise to include emerging policy areas such as addressing disinformation and cyber security.

The war in Ukraine is causing economic shock and amplifying security threats well beyond Europe. We are actively supporting Ukraine, and we work to ensure our institution building tools can assist all partners as they face the impact of this situation. We are already preparing to underpin Ukraine’s green and digital reconstruction, as well as supporting resilience in neighbouring countries.

With the EU candidate status for Moldova and Ukraine, Georgia’s European perspective, and the start of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, the EU enlargement process is gaining momentum. I very much look forward to working together with our partners through TAIEX & Twinning to bring about positive reforms and to lay the groundwork for EU accession.

Olivér Várhelyi
European Commissioner for Neighbourhood & Enlargement

Part 1 - Institution building instruments: TAIEX & Twinning

Part 1 - Institution building instruments: TAIEX & Twinning

TAIEX and Twinning in brief


  • TAIEX – Technical Assistance and Information Exchange – offers peer-to-peer technical assistance and policy support from public experts in EU Member States to beneficiaries across the world, including support to EU Member States in structural reforms and improving regional and environmental policies.
  • The instrument targets primarily public administrations, but also judiciary and law enforcement authorities, parliamentary administrations, representatives of social partners, trade unions and employers’ associations.
  • TAIEX activities can trigger further cooperation with the EU or they can complement an existing activity by adding a peer learning dimension.
  • TAIEX assistance can be requested either by beneficiaries (classic) or EU services (strategic).
  • TAIEX activities are short in duration (1-5 days).


  • Twinning is a policy-driven instrument supporting institutional cooperation between public administrations in EU Member States and partner countries.
  • It brings together public sector expertise in order to achieve concrete and operational results through peer-to-peer exchanges.
  • Twinning relies on a network of stakeholders in EU Member States, partner countries and EU Delegations.
  • The instrument is funded as a grant from the EU budget and jointly implemented by Member States and administrations in partner countries.
  • Medium to long term projects (up to 3 years).

TAIEX & Twinning reach in 2021

Click on the highlighted countries on the interactive map to discover TAIEX events in these countries as well as Twinning projects

Part 2 - Spotlight on: TAIEX

Part 2 - Spotlight on: TAIEX

TAIEX numbers in 2021

  • 509 events
  • Experts from the EU were mobilised 2265 times through TAIEX
  • 14 307 participants
  • 95% of participants rated TAIEX experts as excellent or good

Part 3 - Spotlight on: Twinning

Part 3 - Spotlight on: Twinning

Twinning activities in 2021

Twinning is a medium- to long-term institution building instrument widely used for cooperation between EU Member States and partner countries.

In 2021, 22 out of 27 Member States were involved in Twinning projects either as a lead Member State or as a junior partner.

68% of Twinning projects are implemented by more than one Member State. Italy, Lithuania, France and Austria were the most active Member States in the instrument.

Part 4 – The future of TAIEX & Twinning

Part 4 – The future of TAIEX & Twinning

Combining online, in-person and hybrid meetings made TAIEX and Twinning assistance even more flexible and accessible, but also more resilient to future disruptions. With public administrations everywhere looking for solutions to persistent health, security and environmental challenges, TAIEX and Twinning are uniquely suited to respond to this demand in Europe as well as globally.

As we look towards the future knowing that public sector expertise will continue to grow in importance, TAIEX and Twinning teams would like to hear from you about how to improve the instruments. We remain open to your feedback at NEAR-INSTITUTION-BUILDINGatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (NEAR-INSTITUTION-BUILDING[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).


Download the report in pdf version (available in English, French and German)

TAIEX and Twinning Report 2021