Twinning is an institutional building tool, regulated by the "Common Twinning Manual" involving cooperation between Public Administrations in a Partner country and EU Member States equivalent institution.
Twinning projects are built around:
Projects are built around jointly agreed EU policy objectives: Twinning project objectives derive from the joint EU-Azerbaijan agenda, i.e. combining the EU policy orientations (as set out in the European Commission's Progress Reports and/or other policy documents) and the Beneficiary Administration's efforts for reform (as set out in strategic documents adopted by relevant Azerbaijani authorities). The Twinning partners agree in advance on a detailed Work Plan to meet the objective related to priority areas of the acquis communautaire and/or other EU policies open for cooperation.
Beneficiary Country retains ownership of project: throughout the process the Beneficiary Administration stays in the driving seat. Together with the EU Delegation, Azerbaijani Beneficiary Administration chooses the Member State partner it considers appropriate to jointly implement its Twinning project. To underpin the credibility of their commitment, the Twinning partners draft together a detailed Work Plan. Further, the success of a Twinning project relies on the full determination of the Beneficiary Administration to carry out reforms and the reorganisation needed. These arrangements place the final and sole ownership of the Twinning project firmly with the Beneficiary Country's side.
Projects yield concrete operational results: Twinning partners commit themselves to achieve mandatory results relating in some form to the implementation of priority areas of the acquis communautaire, EU policies or simply introduction of EU best administrative practices. The mandatory results are clear and well defined institutional targets adding to reaching an operational outcome in a particular field. Progress towards this end measured by clear benchmarks also undergoes continuous monitoring through project reports.
Projects involve a peer-to-peer exchange of hands-on public sector expertise and experience: Twinning assistance involves a know-how exchange at public sector level between peers. All experts are practitioners from a Member State administration. Areas primarily covered often concern the exclusive responsibilities of the state. For example, for border management there are very few, if any, private sector advisers who can give Beneficiary Administration advice and assistance they require in such a sensitive area.
Projects are a genuine partnership fostering close co-operation: as the Azerbaijani Beneficiary Administration retains ownership, the relationship with the Member State is one of a partnership with a joint responsibility to achieve the agreed outcomes, and not client-contractor in nature. This partnership process helps to build long-term relationships with the Member State administration, and at the same time brings Azerbaijan into a wider contact with the diversity of administrative practices inside the EU.
More detailed information is provided in the "Twinning Guidelines for Azerbaijani Beneficiary Administrations" and "Common Twinning Manual" on the digital library of the website.