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Germany’s participation in the EU Twinning instrument

Germany is actively engaged in EU Twinning activities to support institution building in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region and the New Independent States. The aim of Twinning is to help new EU member states, accession candidates and EU neighbouring states bring their legislation in line with EU law (or acquis communautaire), build up structures necessary for its implementation and strengthen administrative capacities. Experts, primarily from the authorities of the German Federation and the Länder, are seconded for up to two years to partner countries, where they conduct projects jointly with the local authorities. Environmental protection is one of the instrument's main priorities, in addition to economic issues, agriculture and internal affairs. Germany is one of the most active member states in the environmental sector. Between 1998 and August 2016, the German Environment Ministry (BMUB) took part in more than 80 Twinning projects on environmental issues with a total budget of more than 80 million euros, acting as the project leader in most cases.
see list of projects

Germany’s committed involvement in the field of environmental protection prioritises projects on air and water monitoring, waste disposal and waste legislation, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), general support for the development of environmental strategies, the establishment of structural funds and general institution building. At present, the BMUB is collaborating on projects with Israel and Serbia.
see list of projects

Procedure

Twinning projects are financed with EU funds under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) for accession candidates and under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for New Independent States and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean regions.

Twinning projects are drafted and put out to tender by IPA /ENI states in consultation with the European Commission. The projects are awarded at the end of a competitive process in which interested administrative bodies from the EU member states draw up proposals and present them in the countries where the projects will run. It is also possible for several EU countries to form a consortium. Once a project partner has been selected, a comprehensive contract between the two countries is drafted to regulate the work plan for the project and its substantive content.

Twinning projects in the new EU member states

In the first years of the Twinning programme, projects focused on the fundamental EU accession criteria. The main cross-cutting priorities were legislative approximation, institution building and the development of environmental strategies. Sectoral activities concentrated on the development of monitoring capacities. However, the ten states that joined the EU in 2004 have largely completed the transposition of EU environmental legislation into national law and established the most important administrative structures. For a certain time, it was still possible for the new EU member states to put Twinning projects out to tender under the Transition Facility, but this instrument has now been phased out. However, the new EU member states may bid to act as EU partners in Twinning projects and so pass on their own experience of preparing for EU accession.

Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU on 1 January 2007. They have transposed most of the legal instruments in the environmental sector. Transitional periods were only agreed in a few fields that require heavy investment such as waste recovery, wastewater management and air quality control. Apart from fulfilling their legal obligations, the new member states also have to create the necessary structures to gain access to EU financial assistance. This is the only way for them to raise the funds they urgently require in order to comply with EU environmental standards. Since 1998, Bulgaria has put out to tender and conducted Twinning projects intended to support institution building. Romania has made intensive use of the programme as well, in particular to push forward the establishment of its regional environmental protection agencies. Germany supported both countries intensively in their preparation for EU accession with a total of 26 projects on a broad range of environmental issues. This support has continued after accession.

Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013. Over the past few years, Croatia has increasingly made use of the Twinning instrument to introduce EU standards. Between September 2007 and August 2009, the BMUB helped Croatian water management authorities prepare for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive via a Twinning project.

Twinning projects in EU accession candidate countries

At present, the official candidate countries Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are preparing for accession to the EU. The BMUB has so far been focusing its Twinning activities on Turkey, which still has a great deal to do in terms of building up the capacities necessary for the effective administration of the environmental sector. Work has been undertaken on the introduction of regulated waste disposal structures, the improvement of air quality, noise protection and the protection of the country’s rich natural resources. Serbia and Macedonia are also increasingly using the Twinning instrument to adapt to EU standards. The Federal Environment Ministry has completed four Twinning projects with Serbia, one of Germany’s partners in the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, that focused on implementation of the Water Framework Directive, expansion of administrative capacities for implementing air quality management, assistance in the implementation of a management system for chemicals and introduction of the EU Emissions Trading Directive. An additional project with German cooperation is currently underway in Serbia with the aim of improving hazardous waste management.

Twinning and the EU's new Neighbourhood Policy

Originally designed as an instrument that would guide new members into the EU, Twinning has in the meantime developed into an institution building instrument that is also used outside the immediate context of the accession process. Under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI), Twinning has been gradually extended to the EU’s eastern neighbours and the Mediterranean region since 2007. Since 2014, the new ENI programme (European Neighbourhood Instrument) has replaced ENPI for cooperation with EU neighbours. Especially in the context of transboundary environmental pollution, it is important to create opportunities for cooperation between EU member states and non-EU countries and to support neighbouring states in necessary capacity building. The 2003 Twinning project between the Federal Environment Ministry and Ukraine served this purpose. The BMUB's first project with Egypt – on waste management – ran from the end of 2008 to spring 2011. From January 2013 to February 2015, the BMUB implemented its first Twinning project in the South Caucasus with the aim of helping the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection to introduce an IPPC system. A Twinning project geared towards supporting the introduction of EU construction standards was launched in Azerbaijan in mid-2014 – the first Twinning project in the building sector since building became part of the BMUB portfolio following the government reshuffle at the beginning of 2014. The project ended in December 2015.

A Twinning project with Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection to support the introduction of an IPPC system and a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) was completed in February 2015. At the beginning of 2015, a German-Austrian-British consortium was awarded a contract for a Twinning project aimed at supporting the modernisation of environmental regulatory tools for Israeli industry. The project started in June 2015.

Why Twinning?

Sixteen years of experience with Twinning projects in the environmental sector have shown that the committed work is worthwhile for both sides. German administrative experts who specialise in the implementation of European legislation and have vast experience in organising and reforming administrative structures at different levels can help their counterparts in partner countries understand precisely those everyday administrative activities that are often not covered by classical technical assistance. Daily cooperation on these projects fosters long-term partnerships with the country in question, strengthening bilateral contacts beyond the Twinning project and creating channels of communication for cooperation in other policy areas and economic sectors. In this way, Germany can make targeted contributions to environmentally friendly development in the accession states and the EU neighbouring countries.

EU Twinning projects with German involvement in the environmental and building sectors (ongoing)

No. Country and project number Title/topic Lead country Project term
1. Serbia 
SR 13 IB EN 02
Action to improve management of hazardous wastes Austria (junior partner: Germany) Q4 2014

Q4 2016
2. Israel
IL/11
Support for enhancement and modernisation of environmental regulatory tools for Israeli industry Germany (junior partners: Austria, UK) Q2 2015
– 
Q2 2017

EU Twinning projects with German involvement in the environmental sector since 1998 (concluded)

No. Country and project number Title/topic Lead country Project term
3. Egypt
EG07AAEN10
Development of an integrated management system for hazardous substances and for waste the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) Germany
11/2008 - 5/2011
4. Armenia
AM10/ENP
PCA/EN/06
Support for introduction of an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) system  Germany (junior partner: Spain) 01/2013 -
01/2015
5. Azerbaijan
AZ/13/ENP/TR/27
Support for the introduction of EU construction standards Germany 06/2014

12/2015
6. Bulgaria
BG98/IB/EN-01/02
Development of an overall environmental strategy, further development of the National Environmental Action Plan, approximation of environmental law in the fields of environmental information, water and air Germany 1999 - 2001
7. Bulgaria
BG99/IB/EN-01
Advice on the introduction of waste legislation Germany 2001- 2002
8. Bulgaria
BG99/IB/EN-02
Advice on air quality management at the local level Germany 2000 - 2002
9. Bulgaria
BG00/IB/EN-01-01
Wastewater/drinking water France
(junior
partner:
Germany)
2002 - 2003
10. Bulgaria
BG00/IB/EN-01-02
Action to strengthen administrative capacities for the implementation of EU law on trading in protected species Austria
(junior
partner:
Germany)
2001 - 2003
11. Bulgaria
BG00/IB/EN-01-03
Advice on chemical safety Germany 2001 - 2003
12. Bulgaria
BG00/IB/EN-01-04
IPPC Directive training and implementation measures at the regional level for responsible officials in environmental agencies and industry Germany 2001 - 2003
13. Bulgaria
BG00/IB/EN-01-05
Radiation protection and safety in medical applications with a focus on ionising radiation Germany 2002 - 2003
14. Bulgaria
BG03/IB/EN-01
Implementation of the Regulations related to the Law on Protection from the Harmful Impact of Chemical Substances and Preparations Germany 2005 - 2006
15. Bulgaria
BG03/IB/EN-02
Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive Germany 2004 - 2006
16. Bulgaria
BG03/IB/EN-03
Air monitoring Germany 2005 - 2006
17. Bulgaria
BG07/IB/EN-04
Implementation and enforcement of Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries and amending Directive 2004/35/EC Germany 04/2009 - 10/2010
18. Bulgaria
BG07IBEN05
Action to strengthen national and regional administrative capacities for the implementation of EC legislation on waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators Austria
(junior
partner:
Germany)
04/2009 - 09/2010
19. Estonia
ES98/IB/EN-01(a)
Implementation of the accession programme in the field of air quality control, in particular air monitoring Finland
(junior
partner:
Germany)
1999 - 2001
20. Estonia
ES03/IB/EN-01
Development of an Estonian fuel quality management system Germany
2004 - 2005
21. Estonia
ES05/IB/EN-01
Action to enhance the capacity to reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases in Estonia Germany
2007- 2008
22. Estonia
ES06/IB/EN-01
Capacity building for action in response to major environmental accidents and emergency situations Germany
2007- 2008
23. Israel
IS12ENP
APEN07
Support for introduction of IPPC system and a PRTR Project Brochure (external PDF, 2.6 MB) Germany 06/2013 - 02/2015
24. Croatia
HR04/IB/EN01
Capacity building and development of guidelines for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive Germany
(junior
partner:
Netherlands)
09/2007 - 08/2009
25. Latvia
LV01/IB/EN-01
Radiation protection in medical applications Germany 2003 - 2004
26. Lithuania
LI98/IB/SPP-01
Preparations for participation in EU Structural Funds Finland
(junior
partner:
Germany)
2000 - 2001
27. Lithuania
LI99/IB/EN-01
Action to strengthen environmental monitoring capacities with a focus on air and waterGermany 2001 - 2002
28. Malta
MT04/IB/EN-03
Technical assistance for the development of implementation systems for the producer responsibility directives (waste management) Germany 2006- 2007
29. Poland
PL98/IB/EN-01
Development of an overall environmental strategy, implementation of environmental legislation and strategy; priorities: waste, air and water France
(junior
partner:
Germany
)
1999 - 2001
30. Poland
PL98/IB/SPP-01
Preparation for the use of EU Structural Funds UK
(junior

partner
Germany
)
1999 - 2001
31. Poland
PL00/IB/EN-01
Action to strengthen the Environmental Impact Assessment instrument Germany
2002 - 2003
32. Poland
PL00/IB/EN-03
Evaluation of air quality Germany
2001 - 2003
33. Poland
PL02/IB/EN-01
Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive Germnany
2003 - 2005
34. Poland
PL02/IB/EN-04
Transboundary shipment of waste Germany
2003 - 2004
35. Romania
RO98/IB/EN-01
Development of an overall environmental strategy Germany
1999 - 2001
36. Romania
RO01/IB/EN-01
Establishment of institutions as further support for Romania during the introduction and implementation of EU waste management legislation Germany
2002 - 2004
37. Romania
RO02/IB/EN/02
Support for the implementation of EU directives on emissions control - Directive 99/13/EC on emissions of volatile organic compounds, Directive 2001/80/EC on the limitation of emissions from large combustion plants and the SEVESO II Directive (96/82/EC) Germany
2003 - 2005
38. Romania
RO03/IB/EN/03
Support for the Romanian Environment Ministry when programming environmental investment projects; priority: waste Germany
2004 - 2006
39. Romania
RO04/IB/EN-01
Support for Cluj Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priority: air quality control (Phase I) Germany
2005 - 2007
40. Romania
RO04/IB/EN-04
Support for Craiova Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priority: prevention of industrial pollution (Phase I) Germany
2005 - 2007
41. Romania
RO04/IB/EN-08
Support for Bucharest Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priorities: emission and noise control (Phase I) Germany
2005 - 2007
42. Romania
RO04/IB/EN-09
Support for the National Environmental Protection Agency (Phase I) Germany
2005 - 2007
43. Romania
RO06/IB/EN-01
Support for Cluj Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priorities: air quality control and climate protection (Phase II) Germany
(j
unior
partner:

A
ustria)
12/2007 - 06/2009
44. Romania
RO06/IB/EN-04
Support for Craiova Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priority: prevention of industrial pollution (Phase II) Germany
(j
unior
partner:
Czech Republlic
)
01/2007 - 07/2009
45. Romania
RO06/IB/EN-07
Support for Galati Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priority: industrial waste (Phase II) Germany
02/2007 - 08/2009
46. Romania
RO06/IB/EN-08
Support for Bucharest Regional Environmental Protection Agency; priority: noise control (Phase II) Germany
02/2007 - 08/2009
47. Romania
RO06/IB/EN-09
Support for the National Environmental Protection Agency and coordination of regional Twinning projects (Phase II) Germany
(junior

partner:
Austria
)
12/2007 - 06/2009
48. Serbia
SR05/IB/EN-01
Implementation of the Water Framework Directive Germany
2006 - 2008
49. Serbia
SR07/IB/EN/-01
Action to strengthen administrative capacities for the implementation of air quality management Czech Republic
(junior

p
artner:)
11/2009 - 04/2012
50 Serbia
SR 12 IB EN 01
Support for the introduction of the Emissions Trading Directive France
(j
unior
partner: Germany
)
09/2013
– 
08/2015
51. Serbia
CZ06/018 -
SR08/IB/EN-02

Support for the implementation of a management system for chemicals Austria
(junior

partner:
Germany
)

08/2010 - 03/2013
52. Slovak Republic
SR98/IB/EN-02
Development of a waste strategy Germany
2000 - 2001
53. Slovak Republic
SK00/IB/EN-01
Introduction of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive Germany
2002 - 2003
54. Slovak Republic
SK02/IB/EN-03
Introduction and implementation of the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive Germany
2003 - 2005
55. Slovenia
SL98/IB/EN-01
Support for the Environment Ministry’s legal harmonisation activities Austria
(junior

partner:
Germany
)
2000 - 2001
56. Slovenia
SL98/IB/SPP-01
Upskilling of the competent authorities for evaluation and control in their function as paying agents (Structural Funds) Ireland
(junior
partner:
Germany
)
2000 - 2001
57. Slovenia
SI04/IB/EN-01
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC)
Germany
2005 - 2006
58. Slovenia
SI06/IB/EN-01
Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive Germany
2007 - 2008
59. Czech Republic
CZ98/IB/EN-01
Action to build up and strengthen the environmental agencies’ role in the implementation of the environmental acquis Germany
1999 - 2001
60. Czech Republic
CZ00/IB/EN-01
Structures for the implementation of Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and an Integrated Pollution Register Germany
2002 - 2003
61. Czech Republic
CZ00/IB/EN-03
Establishment of institutions for Permitting and Monitoring in the Air Quality Sector Germany
2002 - 2003
62. Czech Republic
CZ01/IB/EN-01-TL
IPPC Directive training and implementation activities Germany
2002 - 2003
63. Czech Republic
CZ02/IB/EN-01
Introduction of environmental legislation at the regional level Germany
2003 - 2004
64. Czech Republic
CZ02/IB/EN-02
Implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive Germany
2003 - 2004
65. Czech Republic
CZ02/IB/EN-01TL
Funding instruments for the implementation of the acquis communautaire in the field of environmental protection at the regional level Austria
(junior
partner:
Germany)
2003 - 2004
66. Czech Republic
CZ03/IB/EN-02
Establishment of an environmental information and management system (CENIA) Germany
2004 - 2005
67. Czech Republic
CZ03/IB/EN-TL1
EU Cohesion Fund project pipeline for the water sector
(Twinning Light)
Germany 2004 - 2004
68. Czech Republic
CZ04/IB/EN-04TL
Funding for nature conservation
(Twinning Light)
Germany 2006 - 2007
69. Czech Republic
CZ06/IB/EN-01TL
Regional waste management
(Twinning Light)
Germany 2007- 2007
70. Czech Republic
CZ05/IB/EN-02TL
Support for environmental information system
(Twinning Light)
Germany 2008 - 2008
71. Czech Republic
CZ06/9IB/EN-06TL
Capacity building for the CENIA environmental information system  
(Twinning Light)
Germany 02/2009 - 10/2009
72. Turkey
TR02-EN01
Capacity building in the environmental sector: nature conservation component Germany 2004 - 2006
73. Turkey
TR03/IB/EN-01a
Capacity building in the environmental sector: air quality control component Germany 2004 - 2006
74. Turkey
TR03/IB/EN-01b
Capacity building in the environmental sector: waste management component Germany 2004 - 2006
75. Turkey
TR04/IB/EN-01
Action to strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in the field of special waste management Germany 2005 - 2008
76. Turkey
TR04/IB/EN-02
Action to strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in the field of noise control Germany 2006 - 2008
77. Turkey
TR07/IB/EN-02
Institution building in the field of air quality in the Marmara region Germany
(junior

partner:
Austria)

10/2009 - 06/2013
78. Turkey
TR09/IB/EN-01
Verification of VOC emissions Germany
(junior
partner:
Netherlands
)
07/2011 - 09/2013
79. Ukraine
UKR 02/01
Establishment of effective cooperation between parliament and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Germany 2003 - 2004
80. Hungary
HU98/IB/EN-01
Approximation of environmental law; priorities: waste, air and water France
(junior

partner: Germany
)
2000 - 2001
81. Hungary
HU98/IB/EN-02
Establishment and development of the Central Environmental Protection FundGermany 1999 - 2001
82. Hungary
HU00/IB/EN-01
Establishment of an air monitoring network Germany 2001 - 2002
83. Hungary
HU01/IB/EN-04
Prevention of industrial pollution/plant safety Germany 2002 - 2003
84. Hungary
HU02/IB/EN-01
Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive Germany 2002 - 2004
85. Hungary
HU02/IB/EN-02
Institutional action to strengthen environmental inspectorates Germany 2002 - 2004

Last update: 17.08.2016

Further information

www.bmwi.de
Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy

ec.europa.eu
EU Commission page on Twinning