The emblematic programme of the European Union, created in 1998 to facilitate the accession of candidate countries to the Union, celebrates its 25th anniversary. In 2022, the programme was extended to Latin America and the Caribbean
A national model for organ transplants with the Catalan Transplant Organisation. Intellectual property registration regulations with the Patent and Trademark Office in Egypt. Tax management systems with the Egyptian Tax Agency. Strengthening the railway system in Ukraine with the Ministry of Public Works. A consumer protection mechanism with the Madrid Regional Department of Health and Consumer Affairs.
These are just five examples of the 360 European twinning programmes that FIIAPP has facilitated since 1998, mobilising Spanish public expertise to strengthen the institutions of partner countries and contributing to the internationalisation of our public administrations. Spain is the fourth European country with the highest number of implemented twinnings, most of them in the areas of justice, green economy, public finance and digitalisation and more than 5,000 public servants have shared their experience and knowledge with institutions in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Poland.
“Innovation in our administrations through internationalisation and peer learning is one of the priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, mobilising public expertise to achieve common goals. The twinning programme illustrates the importance of the civil service in ensuring the functioning of the state effective access to rights and the promotion of social cohesion. Public policies must increasingly respond to cross-border challenges , so international partnerships are becoming essential for their effective implementation,” said Lidia Sánchez Milán, Secretary of State for Public Administration.
“As we mark the silver jubilee of the Twinning instrument, we celebrate the bridges we have built and the bonds we’ve formed. Over these 25 years, together with the Member States, we have transformed our shared knowledge into a tool of empowerment and progress. Whilst evolving, Twinning will remain true to its core mission of supporting partner countries in their efforts to align with EU standards and build stronger and more resilient institutions. Long Live the Twinning Community!”, said Gert Jan Koopman, Director-General of the Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).
“Through Twinning, Spain supports the EU’s joint efforts to transmit best of its public knowledge and expertise to partner countries. Through a proactive and needs-oriented approach, the added value of Member States’ participation in Twinning programmes enhances transformation processes through public policy reforms. Fostering the awareness and ownership of partner countries is instrumental for energising and giving substance to EU external relations. Twinning is also a peer-to-peer relationship, which involves a high degree of public diplomacy and builds long-term relationships of trust between institutions,” explains Ricardo Sánchez-Blanco Codorníu, Deputy Director General RELEX and EU Trade Affairs and National Contact Point in Spain for Twinning.
The involvement of more state, regional and municipal institutions in this type of cooperation and the extension of the programme to new geographical areas beyond the neighbourhood and accession countries are the next challenges for the programme.