Twinning: Statistics Finland wins project in Azerbaijan and Finland reaches a total of 200 projects
Finland, Lithuania and the Netherlands will start developing the production of statistics in Azerbaijan through a Twinning project that will last a year and a half. The goals of the project are central to strengthening business-related statistics. A joint tender by Finland, Lithuania and the Netherlands won the tender competition for the project. This is Finland's two hundredth Twinning project.
Azerbaijan has made the development of statistics one of its national priorities and therefore its Government Programme for 2018-2025 aims not only to strengthen the quality of statistical data produced and the personnel’s competence, but also to develop the country's statistics to meet better international standards. The goal to strengthen the production of statistics has also been noted in the EU, for example in the Azerbaijan Action Plan.
From the Azerbaijan’s side, the national statistics committee, tax authority and the agency for developing the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises are involved in the Twinning project. The focus in this project is on promoting the skills and operating conditions of these actors and on strengthening their mutual cooperation. The project will improve, among other things, the practices for exchanging information and develop the conditions for producing statistics especially on small and medium-sized enterprises. The project intends to enable Azerbaijan to produce annual statistical reports on its SME sector in line with the EU and OECD standards.
- The project has ambitious goals and we are committed to achieving them. We have a strong consortium implementing the project, involving not only Finland, Lithuania and the Netherlands but also individual experts from Denmark. We are particularly proud that this very project is Finland’s two hundredth Twinning project. We are already looking forward to the start of the project, says Project Manager, Director Mari Ylä-Jarkko from Statistics Finland.
Special project for Finland
Finland has been involved in Twinning projects since the beginning in 1998. Over the past twenty years, Finland has implemented projects in all administrative sectors in almost all the target countries. Finland has established itself in the European Twinning field and, in proportion to its population, is one of the most active EU Member States participating in Twinning projects. Twinning has become a success story in exporting Finnish good governance and expertise, which is also highlighted by reaching the milestone of two hundred projects.
For Statistics Finland, this is the second project they have won in the course of this year. The agency's experts will work in Azerbaijan partly on the same themes as in Belarus. The coronavirus pandemic is currently hampering Twinning projects widely and the exact launch date of these new projects remains open for the time being.
Twinning is a European Union instrument for the development of public administration and legislation in the European Union’s neighbouring areas. The instrument supports projects related to the EU’s enlargement and neighbourhood policy. EU Member States are invited to submit their tenders and partner countries select the actor(s) to carry out the projects.
The actor(s) implementing the project and the partner country work in close cooperation to achieve the objectives set for the Twinning project. Individual Twinning projects last approximately two years and the project budget ranges between EUR 1 to 2 million. In Finland, Twinning activities are coordinated by the Twinning team at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Text and photos:
Eerikki Vainio, Specialist, the Twinning Team of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs