'Behind the scenes at the museums'

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Twinning means establishing partnerships between public administrations in Member States of the European Union (EU) and administrations in countries that are either current or potential EU accession candidates or European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries. The EU promotes twinning in order to strengthen, reform and further develop public structures in partner countries. EU accession candidates are required to adopt the entire body of EU law (acquis communautaire) and their administrations must be able to apply and interpret EU legislation. The partnerships are intended to promote stronger economic integration of beneficiary countries, assist them to ensure stability, democracy and prosperity, and provide a basis for more intensive political and cultural relationships. Twinning projects can be launched in almost every area of policy, and each project is individually tailored to the partner country’s needs.

Germany is one of the most active twinning partners within the EU. Since 1998, German administrations have been involved in around 750 projects, amounting to approximately 25 per cent of all projects to date. Almost all the German federal ministries and Land (state) administrations are involved in twinning schemes. Since 2000, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has provided effective support for German ministries and their offices in over 200 twinning projects, across all phases from application until conclusion.