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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

Boosting financial supervision: Poland's role in shaping Central and Eastern Europe through Twinning projects

Story by: Polish Financial Supervision Authority (UKNF)


Picture: MOZCO Mateusz Szymanski / Shutterstock

Poland has been actively using the Twinning instrument as a unique and effective tool of dedicated expert support in the financial market as part of the European neighbourhood and enlargement policies. For the last 18 years, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (UKNF) has consistently supported the improvement of strategic competencies of administration bodies of supervisory authorities in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

The UKNF is the leading contractor of Twinning projects for Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Georgia. Sharing of knowledge based on practical experience gained and techniques applied by the Polish supervisory authority, acquired both during the period of economic transformation and in the process of joining the EU, is of great value for the partner administrations which are transforming their economies and applying for EU membership. 

Within one year from Poland’s accession to the EU, the UKNF was able to use its freshly acquired experience as a Twinning beneficiary to provide assistance to Bulgaria’s authority for non-banking financial sector supervision in the form of a Twinning project (2005–2007) Strengthening of the administrative capacity of the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission to implement the acquis in the field of securities, insurance and pensions. The project has contributed to the harmonisation of law, structures and controlling procedures in the area of financial, insurance and pension schemes market in line with the requirements resulting from Bulgaria’s accession to the EU on 1 January 2007. 

The experience of the Polish supervisor has shown that direct cooperation between the employees of supervisory authorities within the framework of Twinning projects enables a more effective sharing of expertise. It allows supporting the development of competencies and the strengthening of the structures of administration of beneficiary countries by combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience of experts from EU Member States and beneficiary countries. Direct cooperation also contributes to gradual implementation of standards applicable in the EU Member States in response to specific needs of supervisory authorities.

The involvement of experts as part of the Twinning project for Azerbaijan (2012–2014) Approximation of the legal and regulatory framework for the securities market of Azerbaijan according to the European Union acquis and capacity building for the State Committee for Securities enabled the approximation of the Azerbaijani legal and regulatory framework to the EU legislation in the field of capital market, as well as the providing of practical solutions to strengthen institutional capacity and supervisory functions. 

By using the experience and mechanisms of cooperation developed in the Twinning projects the UKNF is actively supporting countries seeking EU membership with the use of this tool.

The project for Moldova (2015–2017) Development and consolidation of the National Commission for Financial Markets’ operational and institutional capacities in the field of prudential regulation and supervision strengthened supervisory functions and capacities in terms of regulating the non-banking markets according to the European Union acquis and best practices, as well as the process of development of the risk based supervision system to ensure the integrity and stability of the financial system in Moldova. Polish experts have helped establish effective supervisory mechanisms to protect investors and users of non-bank financial services, as well as support the development of non-banking financial markets.

The support provided to the National Bank of Georgia in the field of banking and payment services (2019–2021) has contributed to strengthening supervisory mechanisms in line with European Union standards, in order to ensure the stability and transparency of the financial sector in Georgia. Based on the experience gained and expert support provided in the process of adapting its legislation to the EU legislation as part of the Twinning project, Georgia has started the process of implementing national regulations in accordance with the CRD IV and CRR package and the Directive on payment services, which reinforces the security of users of banking and payment services.