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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article22 December 2017Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

EU supports Belarus' Central Bank via 1st TWINNING project in the country

The National Bank of Belarus (NBRB) is at the heart of the first ever Twinning project in the country, endorsed today during an official signature ceremony in Minsk in the presence of Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus...

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The National Bank of Belarus (NBRB) is at the heart of the first ever Twinning project in the country, endorsed today during an official signature ceremony in Minsk in the presence of Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus.

With a budget of over 1 million Euros, the project aims at supporting Belarus' sustainable economic growth by improving the capacity of the NBRB to address the major challenges it faces as an independent central bank. The role of a National Bank is key to each country's economic development, as the institution is in charge of protecting the national currency, ensuring its stability, maintaining the solidity of the national banking system and ensuring an efficient functioning of the economy. An increased professional capacity of the staff of the National Bank of Belarus will bring, in the long-term, more economic stability and a stronger banking supervision, leading to more trust in economic governance. The focus is on delivering results for citizens, who will benefit from the institution's capacity to bolster competitiveness, support investments and secure innovation-driven development.

Set to start in the first quarter of 2018, the project counts on the expertise of the Bundesbank as the main partner and of the Central Banks of Poland and Lithuania as junior partners. The wide variety of experiences those Central Banks represent (small or bigger countries, euro zone or own currency) will bring the best European practices to Belarus. As in every Twinning project, a Resident Twinning Adviser (from the National Bank of Poland) will be seconded to Belarus for the full length of the project (18 months). Supported by key experts and in close cooperation with the German, Lithuanian and Polish Project Leaders as well as with the Belarusian Project Leader and RTA Counterpart, the RTA will coordinate the work schedule and monitor the fulfilment of the project's mandatory results, thus ensuring constant cooperation and peer-to-peer support, core values of Twinning.

The EU is committed to a policy of critical engagement with Belarus, seeking to build relations based on respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Negotiations on joint EU-BY Partnership Priorities are well advanced, this document will structure our cooperation in the coming years. Programmes funded by the EU in Belarus include significant support to civil society, while the EU has stepped up its assistance for private sector development and to help strengthen institutions. In line with these objectives, this Twinning project supports sustainable economic growth in Belarus.

Established in 1998 to support candidate and potential candidate countries in their accession efforts, Twinning was launched in 2004 also in countries covered by the European Neighbourhood policies, where it became rapidly popular. More information about Twinning is available at www. ec.europa.eu/twinning.

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