How to Succeed with an EU Twinning Project -A Case Study on a Twinning Project in Albania

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How to Succeed with an EU Twinning Project -A Case Study on a Twinning Project in Albania

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title How to Succeed with an EU Twinning Project -A Case Study on a Twinning Project in Albania
Author(s) Ahsani, Sarang ; Mahdi, Majed
Date 2010
English abstract
During the term of 2010 we received a Minor Field Study scholarship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which allowed us to do a two-month study in Tirana, Albania. The study examined one of Europe’s most common tools when it comes to assisting candidate countries, potential candidate countries, and neighbouring countries of the European Union: Twinning. The idea of Twinning is that the beneficiary country gets assistance from EU member state institutions in order to develop its own institutions, in terms of standards of quality and safety. We have observed a Twinning project structured in the form of a consortium between the Swedish Tax Agency and the French Tax Agency assisting the Albanian General Tax Directorate (GTD) in Tirana. The study highlights the relationship between the four different actors involved in the ongoing project (EU, Sweden, France and Albania) and Twinning as a working method. More specifically we investigated (A) the transition from an old to a new system and if any difficulties emerged in the process, (B) what necessary factors are needed for a successful Twinning project, and (C) how the actors’ different backgrounds affect the project. The result we gained from the field study shows that the transition towards a new system progresses well as long as the project follows the main principles of Twinning: partnership and cooperation. These two principles allow the Albanian GTD to direct the project and decide the direction of their Europeanization process. Twinning generates many positive aspects e.g. institutional understanding and friendship, and it brings the cooperating nations closer to each other. The difficulties that have emerged have been technical or when one of the actors has not followed the structure of the project. These difficulties are natural in the beginning of any project since structures and relations take time to establish. Three main qualities affect the outcome of this Twinning project: experience, flexibility and communication. Actors involved in the project have to be experienced, in form of personal as well as institutional experience. Besides, they have to be flexible since the project follows the development of society where unpredicted needs can emerge. Most importantly, communication has to be free from friction between the actors in order to maintain the partnership principle of Twinning. Our analysis shows that the outcomes of this Twinning project are mutually shaped between the actors involved. Therefore, the emphasis should be on personal abilities to mutually create a working structure that follows the principles of Twinning.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) European Union
acquis communautaire
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