Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Twinning — 20 years of projects supporting good governance

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Finland has been sharing its public sector expertise with the EU’s neighbouring regions for 20 years now. The Twinning instrument, a tool for supporting good governance, has provided support, for example, to the eastern European countries which became EU Member States in 2004 and 2007. At the moment, there are ongoing Twinning projects in the Western Balkans, Turkey and the EU’s eastern and southern neighbouring countries.

Finland has participated in Twinning activities from the very beginning, because Twinning projects are considered effective and also important in terms of influence. Projects provide a concrete form of cooperation for different administrative branches, from nature conservation, the prevention of corruption, the development of training or central government finances to the reform of the government human resources administration. Justice and home affairs form one of the key areas of cooperation.

Colleague administrations are partners in projects, and Finland can serve as an example of how to reform public administration. We can share best practices, train public officials in the partner countries to apply EU legislation and further develop collaborative relations and promote social stability in the EU’s neighbouring regions. Our own expertise also improves when we engage in international cooperation.  

In Finland, EU-funded projects are coordinated by the Twinning Team of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The 20th anniversary of Twinning will be celebrated at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Tuesday 22 May 2018.

So far Finland has participated in a total of 190 different Twinning projects in 27 countries. Currently, Finland is involved in 13 projects in 11 different countries. The most recent project was launched in Georgia. This customs project is implemented by Finnish Customs together with Poland and Latvia.

Finland has implemented the largest number of projects in Estonia (27) and Croatia (19), both of which are already EU Member States. In terms of the current beneficiary countries, Finland has projects particularly in Kosovo and Macedonia. Overall, approximately 2,700 Twinning projects have been implemented since 1998.

The unique strength of Twinning lies in the cooperation between public administrations. The most active Twinning actors in Finland include HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management Ltd, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Environment Institute and Statistics Finland. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has implemented two Twinning projects in Hungary and Croatia.  

Inquiries and request for interviews with Twinning experts: Heidi Lempinen, Team Leader, tel. +358 40 350 9492.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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