With the aid of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), this paper evaluates the implementation of the EU’s Twinning instrument in Ukraine since 2007.The authors draw upon 50 interviews they conducted with Twinning stakeholders from the EU, EU member states, Ukraine and other EaP countries. They argue that the Twinning instrument in Ukraine, while offering distinct strengths and opportunities, has punched below its weight due to systemic weaknesses in its internal set-up and a number of threats emanating from the domestic situation in Ukraine and the EU itself. The authors offer policy recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of the instrument in Ukraine and the greater EaP region through enhanced flexibility, more targeted interventions, stronger individual and sectoral incentives and greater visibility. They also review the European Commission’s new Twinning guidelines, which came into effect in July 2017, and reflect on how they address the issues raised in the analysis.
Dmytro Panchuk is Associated Researcher at the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University and Lecturer at the Brussels School of International Studies. Fabienne Bossuyt is Assistant Professor at the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University.