The Conference on Ten Years Anniversary of EU Twinning Instrument in Azerbaijan was organised at 9:30, on 7 April 2017, in the Sevda Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel.
More than 100 participants including representatives of 38 Azerbaijani Public Administrations took part at the event.
The purpose of the conference was to discuss the main outcomes of effective implementation of EU Institution Building Instruments such us Twinning, TAIEX, SIGMA and SOCIEUX in ENI countries and Turkey.
The Deputy Minister of Economy, Mr Sahil Babayev and the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador of the European Union to Azerbaijan, Ms. Malena Mard, welcomed the participants and gave an overview on the co-operation between the EU and Azerbaijan on Institution Building. Prior to the event Ambassador Malena Mard said: "It is important to further strengthen and develop the joint partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan and build on the already good results achieved by joint co-operation using instruments, such as twinning and TAIEX to develop co-operation in many different areas of joint interest".
The PAO Director, Mr Ruslan Rustamli (Head of Department for Cooperation with International Organisations), presented the current state-of-play of implementation of EU Institution Building Instruments in Azerbaijan; Team leader DG NEAR - Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Unit C3, Institution Building, TAIEX, Twinning, Mr Claus Lech, focused onimplementation of EU Institution Building Instruments in different countries and general description of Twinning reform; Project Manager, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Unit C.3 Institution Building, TAIEX - Justice and Home Affairs Team, Ms Ivana Petričevič informed about recent trends and developments of TAIEX instrument; representatives of ENI countries (Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia) and Turkey presented an implementation of EU Institution Building Instruments in their home countries.
Event was continued in two separate panel discussions dedicated to the role of EU institution building instruments in implementation of economic and social reforms in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. These panel discussions were moderated by Mr Ruslan Rustamli and the Head of Operations Section, the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan Mr Jeroun Willems accordingly.
After completion of panel discussionsProgramme Manager, DG NEAR Ms Lucia Santuccione introduced to participants the changes in Twinning procedures. The purpose of the changes was to align ΙΡΑ and ENI approaches in specific circumstances and to anticipate certain methodological adaptations in view of the comprehensive reform of Twinning rules what will get into force since 1 July 2017.
During the event, mass media had the opportunity to interview Mr Sahil Babayev and Ms. Malena Mard.
It should be noted that Twinning is of crucial strategic importance for the country, as it assists the Government to approximate and adopt EU best practices and standards through direct exchange of technical experience between EU member state civil servants and their Azerbaijani counterparts. As of 1 April 2017, a total of45 twinning projectswere implemented in Azerbaijan,26 of them werecompletedsuccessfully, while 12 projectsareon-going. It is important to add that there are 7 projects in the pipeline.
TAIEX provides short-term peer-to-peer technical assistance, advice and training. It became as a key tool for co-operation under the EU European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). 165 TAIEX events were implemented on the initiative of the Azerbaijani public institutions and also, representatives of Azerbaijani institutions attended 74 multi-country events.
In general, 15 SIGMA projects were implemented and 2 SOCİEUX projects are under implementation in Azerbaijan.