A meeting of National Twinning Coordinators took place in Brussels on 23-24 November. It brought together over 100 participants from 51 countries around the world, 3 general and 8 thematic sessions were organised. Among the 61 presentations made at the meeting, experts from the Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) presented Lithuania's outstanding progress in implementing Twinning projects. For the last five years, Lithuania has been ranked among the top five in the European Union (EU) for the number of contracted and implemented Twinning projects.
The meeting was devoted to exchanging countries’ experiences in the implementation of programmes such as TAIEX or Twinning, discussing the challenges and opportunities arising from this type of cooperation, as well as ideas for further cooperation between countries. For more than 25 years, these and similar peer-to-peer exchanges have contributed to the development and sustainable change of the public sector. The meeting highlighted the value of public sector expertise for institutional development.
"Twinning projects bring together institutions from different countries with the same functions. It is the only international programme that offers such specific peer-to-peer cooperation. The projects not only allow to share competences and experience between EU countries, but also aim to bring the partner countries one step closer to the EU after each project. Lithuania is also making a strong contribution," said Ugnė Chmeliauskaitė, the Deputy Head of CPVA's the International Development Cooperation Division of the CPMA, who gave a presentation in Brussels.
Prior to its accession to the EU, since 1999, Lithuania participated in the Twinning programme as a beneficiary country and implemented PHARE projects to bring the public administration system in line with EU standards and to implement reforms. At that time, CPMA had already administered 125 Twinning projects. Since 2004, Lithuania has been participating in the Twinning projects as a donor country and has been transferring its reform experience to the EU's neighbours and to countries preparing to join the EU. Since 2017, CPMA has taken over part of the administrative functions of the National Twinning Coordinator. In total, CPVA has successfully implemented more than 60 Twinning projects over 18 years.
The CPVA is also the only Europe to offer winning trainings for foreign and Lithuanian public sector institutions. More than 700 participants have already taken part in the training. The most recent training, which took place from 30 November to 1 December, was attended remotely by 20 participants from Romania, Italy, Finland, the Netherlands and Lithuania.
"We are seeing the growing interest in the Twinning training. Not only among Lithuanian institutions, but also among representatives of foreign institutions are interested in it. More and more people are coming to the training sessions, who were recommended to join the course by former participants. This is the greatest appreciation and motivation for us", says U. Chmeliauskaitė.