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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

Twinning – 25 Years of Moving Forward Together with EU Expertise

Twinning – 25 Years of Moving Forward Together with EU Expertise

The Twinning instrument has been an important tool of the European Union's external cooperation over the past 25 years, providing targeted technical assistance to public administrations in partner countries.

Since its creation in 1998, the instrument has undergone several changes, expanding its scope and geographical reach. While evolving, Twinning has remained true to its core mission of supporting partner countries in their efforts to align with EU standards.

Discover more about Twinning

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

Twinning in action

Twinning mobilises experts from EU Member States’ institutions who have a unique understanding of the challenges related to their policies’ enforcement.

By bringing practitioners for up to three years, Twinning provides comprehensive support to reforms and creates durable bonds between public administrations.

Testimonials from EU Member States

EU Member States work hand in hand with EU institutions to deliver Twinning projects to partners around the world.

Discover Twinning stories and achievements from the Member States.

Twinning milestones

  1. 1998
    Twinning launches

    The Twinning instrument was set up to support the then-candidate countries in public administration reforms necessary for the EU accession.

  2. 2002
    Twinning expands to the Western Balkans

    The geographical scope of Twinning broadened as it was launched in the Western Balkans for certain institution building programmes, mainly in the sphere of justice and home affairs.

  3. 2004
    Second expansion

    Twinning became available to the EU’s Eastern and Southern neighbours. Since 2004, new Member States from Central and Eastern Europe started sharing their transitional and reform implementation experience through Twinning.

  4. 2020
    Global expansion & the digital leap

    Twinning INTPA is available around the world to countries and territories covered by the EU development policy, making Twinning the global instrument it is today. Twinning adapted to the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak with a digital leap and maintained its activities through the pandemic.

  5. 2023
    25 years of Twinning

    So far, EU Member States’ institutions delivered over 2800 Twinning projects in 34 countries.

TAIEX & Twinning reach in 2022

In 2022, the EU’s institution building instruments TAIEX and Twinning supported reforms in 82 countries and territories.

Explore the interactive map to discover the impact of TAIEX & Twinning.