Effectiveness of EU Transgovernmental Cooperation: The Case of Twinning in the Eastern Neighbourhood

Dmytro Panchuk, Fabienne Bossuyt

EU transgovernmental cooperation with the neighbouring countries under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has triggered a growing academic interest, especially among external governance scholars. A key instrument for such cooperation is Twinning, a capacity-building tool used by the EU to bring the public institutions of ENP countries in line with EU regulatory standards. However, the conditions under which Twinning accomplishes its declared objectives in the target country remain underexplored. This puts serious limits on external governance scholarship, which is mostly concerned with adoption and application of EU rules by the neighbouring countries, yet lacking a systematic evaluation of what determines the effectiveness of specific transgovernmental projects in the first place. In response to that problem, the paper examines what factors have been sufficient and/or necessary for the effective implementation of Twinning projects in the region. It relies on a method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using survey data from a sample of Twinning officials from the European Commission, EU member states, and Eastern neighbourhood countries. Among the conditions tested are member state participation (new vs. old), political commitment, sector politicization, quality of stakeholder communication, and Twinning project design.

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