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Administrative twinnings

Administrative twinnings, established by the European Commission in 1998, were created with the aim of providing assistance to candidate countries in the process of institution building, i.e. in the administrative and regulatory adaptation of national Administrations to the acquis communautaire.

The aim of administrative twinning projects is to ensure the modern and efficient development of the beneficiary countries’ Administrations. This aim is achieved through close cooperation between the Administration/public body of the beneficiary country and its counterpart in the Member State. An essential element of this collaboration is the secondment of civil servants from the Member State to the Public Administration of the Beneficiary Country.

The twinning project usually includes a Project Leader (PL), a Resident Twinning Advisor (RTA) and a number of short- and medium-term experts. The PL is a non-seconded civil servant who is in charge of the project coordination and implementation. The RTA is seconded from his/her Administration/Accredited Body to the equivalent Administration in the beneficiary country for a period of at least one year.

Following the largely positive results recorded in the implementation of administrative twinnings, the Commission deemed it appropriate to extend them also to States other than the candidate countries. In fact, twinnings currently apply also to the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy and to some countries in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia.

The Twinning Manual, drafted by the European Commission, serves as a reference document for administrative twinning projects.



The administrative twinning projects are implemented through the following three stages:

  1. Drafting

The EU Delegations to the Beneficiary Countries or the Responsible Authorities there ensure the dissemination of twinning projects to the Member States’ National Contact Points.

  1. Selection

The Member States interested in providing assistance in a specific sector express their willingness to the Beneficiary Country, specifying how they will achieve the objectives set out in the project. The Member States’ offers are then examined and once the most satisfactory offer has been selected, a specific agreement (Twinning Grant Contract) is signed between the parties concerned.

3. Execution

As indicated above, the project implementation includes the presence of officials from the Member States’ Public Administrations (RTAs and experts) in the Beneficiary Countries.

Besides Public Administrations, Mandated Bodies (with the specific figures of Full and Ad Hoc Mandated Bodies according to the new Twinning Manual), i.e. bodies accredited and included in special lists of the European Commission, may also participate in twinning projects.

Only the bodies whose main purpose is the provision of public services, which operate under the permanent supervision of a governmental authority, are subject to financial and accounting auditing by a governmental authority or an entity designated by it, and, in particular, have a sufficient and proportionate level of permanent staff, commensurate with the needs of the project so as to avoid subcontracting and the hiring of temporary experts, can be included in the list of Full Mandated Bodies.

A body capable of providing only a limited contribution to the activities can only be granted the status of Ad Hoc Mandated Body. The Ad Hoc Mandate shall only refer to the specific twinning project for which it has been requested.



The intention to submit a proposal shall be notified by the Administration or Body concerned ten days before the project deadline to this National Contact Point (NCP). This is designed to put two or more Administrations or Bodies possibly interested in the same project in contact with each other. Each Member State may submit only one proposal per project.

The final proposal shall be sent by e-mail to this National Contact Point ( within the deadline set.