Twinning: International partnerships between public authorities

Within the framework of the Twinning programme, specialists from federal and Länder authorities are posted to partner countries for a period of up to two years. The aim is to collaborate with experts from the partner country in carrying out projects such as setting up government institutions or preparing new legislation.

The instrument was first introduced in 1998. By the beginning of 2012, nearly 3000 Twinning projects had been put out to tender. Germany is the most active EU member state with more than 700 implemented projects. The BMEL has also made good use of this instrument over the past ten years, participating in around 145 Twinning projects.

Not only are Twinning projects a strategic instrument for the BMEL's foreign trade relations, they also promote bilateral cooperation and improve contacts for negotiations in Brussels. The Twinning programme was originally designed to support EU accession candidates (i.e. future member states) in the implementation of European legislation. But in recent years, the scope has been extended to include additional potential candidate countries and now also comprises EU neighbouring countries without accession prospects.

Map of the Twinning programme regions and partner countries

Map: EU Twinning programme regions and partner countries Source: BLE

In the map on the right, the EU Twinning programme regions are shown in orange. Countries in which the BMEL is currently implementing or planning to implement projects are shaded.

The BMEL is currently conducting Twinning projects in the following countries:

  • Israel
  • Macedonia
  • Morocco
  • Ukraine
As of:


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