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Another important sub-area of the IRZ’s work is the implementation of twinning projects. These have been tendered by the European Commission since 1998 in the following programmes: IPA for EU accession candidates (previously Phare and Cards) or ENPI within the framework of neighbourhood assistance (originally Tacis) for the set-up and extension of public structures (so-called “institution building”). The EU accession candidates and neighbouring countries are to be supported in a cooperative process exchanging knowledge and experience to incorporate the European Union’s acquis communautaire and to set up a modern and efficient administration. Another intention is to initiate long-term cooperation. For more information we refer to the webpages of the BMWi und the EU.
EU Member States are only eligible for the application procedure through public institutions. The IRZ is registered as a so-called “mandated body” within the judiciary, i.e. it is qualified to apply for projects within this field directly for Germany in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Justice. The IRZ has applied for more than 100 twinning projects since the kick-off of these tenders in 1998. It has won and successfully implemented some 60 projects.
Twinning projects can have a financial volume of € 250,000 up to € 2 million and are usually scheduled for one to two years. During this period, a long-term adviser (a so-called RTA=Resident Twinning Adviser) goes to the particular country. Additionally, short-term experts disseminate expert knowledge in the form of seminars, workshops, conferences or also study trips. The so-called twinning light projects are scheduled for six months; a long-term adviser is not provided and the volume is € 250,000 at most.
The Member and Partner States have National Contact Points (NCPs) for their twinning activities. NCPs have the following tasks:
- German representative in the EU body of the National Coordinators
- Central contact partner for the European Commission, partner countries and other National Coordinators
- Support for the German participation in EU-funded partnerships of authorities
- Training of long-term experts for their work in the partner countries
The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (Division EB6 “Set-up of administration, advice, twinning”) assumes this task in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The IRZ is presently implementing twinning projects in Turkey, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kosovo. Contracts are being prepared for further projects in Turkey and Croatia.