On 11 February 2016 in Skopje, at the premises of the Delegation of the European Union (EU), representatives of Lithuanian and Beneficiary Country (BC) institutions successfully launched implementation of the EU Twinning light project “Support for efficient prevention and fight against fraud and irregularities of EU funds”. It is already the 5th EU Twinning project implemented by Lithuania in the Beneficiary Country.
Mr. Igor Dimitrov, a State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, opened the ceremony attended by the officials of the Ministry of Finance, partners and experts of the Twinning light project. Participants were also addressed by Mr. Mauro di Veroli, a Head of Section for Operations of the EU Delegation, Mr. Aleksandr Trgachevski, a BC Project Leader and Ms. Loreta Maskaliovienė, a Member State (MS) Project Leader.
The proposals prepared by Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania were submitted for competition of this Twinning light project. The proposal prepared by Lithuanian partner institutions: the Ministry of Finance, the Central Project Management Agency, Financial Crime Investigation Service, Special Investigation Service and the Prosecutor General's Office was selected for implementation.
EU Twinning light project worth € 250 000 is financed under the European Union IPA 2011 Programme and will be implemented over a period of 6 months. The Financial Police Office (FPO) within the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Macedonia of is the main beneficiary of the action.
Overall, this Twinning light project aims to improve the national capacities of the FPO for protection of the EU financial interests and cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). In addition, this project will improve national legal framework, reinforce administrative capacities of the national institutions and strengthen cooperation within the system for fight against fraud and irregularities of EU funds.
Experts from Lithuanian institutions will share their experience and, in cooperation with the BC colleagues, will prepare recommendations, draft procedures, conduct trainings and organize study visit that will eventually contribute to the development of an effective and efficient system of protection of EU financial interests in the beneficiary country and to a better its cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
EU Twinning is an instrument launched by the European Commission with a view to assist EU Candidate countries and newly accepted EU MS to harmonise national legislation with the acquis of the European Union. Representatives from the public administrations of the EU MS and of beneficiary country work together in order to transfer the know-how and good practices developed within the EU to beneficiary public administrations during implementation of the Twinning Project.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania in January 2016, the CPMA is by far the most successful Lithuanian institution participating in the EU Twinning Programme. Since 2009, CPMA was awarded (has successfully implemented) 25 EU Twinning and Twinning light projects.