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Between Association and Development Cooperation: Administrative Change in the EU Neighbourhood through Twinning

Stefan Roch

The aim of the paper will be to explore and conceptualize some of the reasons as to how Twinning projects can guide and influence administrative changes in the EU's neighbourhood. In terms of wider implications, the paper will discuss whether increased administrative Twinning could be a sufficient tool for further integration efforts between the EU and its neighbouring countries. The paper will assume EU Twinning to be somewhat hybrid between the normative supply based approach of Europeanization and the domestic demand based approach of capacity development, as utilized by international organizations such as UNDP. It will be hypothesized that the success of Twinning depends on its ability to align both the demand for reform of the receiving organization and the supply of norms and expertise of the providing organization. The assumption is that Twinning is a particularly accommodative approach in this respect. Twinning combines a framework of mandatory results, towards a process of Europeanization, with a more flexible and accommodative approach of peer to peer cooperation. Twinning could therefore be a model which strongly utilizes socialization towards norm contestation, leading to institutional and policy changes in the neighbourhood. The empirical data of the paper are based on official sources and on limited interview data. In particular it works with an in-depth Twinning evaluation, undertaken by an external organization for the European Commission in 2012 and various other relevant policy documents including manuals, legal frameworks and project reports

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