Twinning and Taiex — EU enlargement and neighbourhood projects

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs coordinates the Twinning and TAIEX projects in Finland. Finland has actively participated in the Twinning and TAIEX programmes from their inception and Finnish authorities currently implement numerous projects in both enlargement and neighbourhood countries.


Twinning — transfer of good governance

Twinning projects support the development of administration and legislation in the EU enlargement and neighbourhood countries.

Projects  can be implemented by public sector organisations or by other public bodies mandated by the Commission (so called Mandated Bodies).

Member States may take part in projects either independently or in cooperation with another Member State.

Twinning aims to transfer good governance to EU candidate countries to help them prepare for EU Membership and deepen their cooperation with neighbouring countries. Projects can support the administrative and legislative reforms of beneficiary countries and promote economic and social stability.

Twinning  provides an excellent opportunity for Finland to strengthen its relations with beneficiary countries.

The Twinning programme was introduced in 1998, and Finland has taken an active part in Twinning activities from the very beginning. Through Twinning projects, agencies can set up valuable networks and strengthen their international visibility.

Twinning is an investment in the expertise of the participating agencies, in addition to the transfer of expertise and sharing of best practices, and serves as an incentive for the development of  human resources.

Twinning offers an opportunity for the participating agencies to develop their ideas and practices into products and to promote commercial cooperation.

Beneficiary countries

Twinning projects are implemented in the EU enlargement countries in the Western Balkans and Türkiye (IPA countries) and in the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) countries.

Expert assistance

Twinning provides long-term expert assistance that is based on the needs and wishes of beneficiary countries.

The bodies implementing the projects are selected via a call for proposals open to all EU countries.

Annually, an open call for proposals is launched for approximately 100 projects.

The budget of Twinning projects is fixed in advance, and tenders compete on the quality of expertise rather than price.

Following the tendering procedure, beneficiary countries select the bodies implementing the projects on the basis of project proposals. Government agencies and public bodies in Finland have been successful in the calls for proposals for Twinning projects.

Full-scale Twinning projects last for about two years, and Twinning light projects, with lower administrative burden, last for six to ten months.

The budget of Twinning projects can rise up to EUR 4 million, and that of Twinning light projects, up to EUR 250,000.

TAIEX — expert assistance from one public administration to another

TAIEX is a programme for short-term technical assistance funded by the EU and coordinated by the European Commission. It was set up in 1996 to support EU enlargement.

TAIEX was extended to the neighbourhood countries in 2006 and in 2015 to all third countries (excluding Russia).  It is also possible to implement TAIEX activities within the EU in the fields of structural and cohesion policy and environment.

TAIEX activities are designed to develop the administration and legislation of beneficiary countries, and therefore, it is mainly public sector bodies that can provide and receive expert assistance.

The benefits of TAIEX cooperation are the speed, ease and flexibility of activities. Activities are based on the needs of beneficiaries and tailored to their specific situations. TAIEX has proved to be a very efficient tool for transferring expertise and best practices.

The TAIEX instrument can also be used to set up networks and, for example, to prepare the ground for Twinning cooperation.

TAIEX activities are an easy and quick way for public authorities to engage in cooperation with countries with whom they have not had any previous contacts.

Each year, Finland hosts several  study visits and sends numerous experts to beneficiary countries. In Finland, TAIEX activities are coordinated by the National Twinning and TAIEX Coordination Team of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.