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5 Jul 2016

Belarus’ National Bank considering joining EU Twinning program

MINSK, 5 July (BelTA) – Belarus’ National Bank is considering joining the EU Twinning program, Chairman of the Board of the National Bank Pavel Kallaur said as he met with head of the EU Delegation in Belarus Andrea Wiktorin, BelTA has learned.

“Ahead of today's meeting we had constructive consultations with representatives of the EU, during which we outlined the international technical assistance areas important for the National Bank. This is our vision and we may be wrong, because we have no experience of participating in such programs. This is why I would like to ask EU representatives to express their opinion of the Twinning program and its advantages. I would like to express confidence that our meeting will be the starting point for practical implementation of the program by the National Bank,” Pavel Kallaur said.

He noted that the National Bank attaches particular importance to this project and therefore the heads of all its key divisions were invited for this meeting. “We are ready for detailed and constructive discussion of the entire range of issues. We are aware of the complexity and magnitude of the project and intend to approach it in a professional and responsible way. The National Bank has big plans for the development of the domestic financial market and promotion of new tools, standards and methodologies. Of course, we hope for your support so that we could pass this way quickly and at the lowest possible costs,” he said.

Head of the EU Delegation in Belarus Andrea Wiktorin explained that Belarus should apply for the Twinning program first. “Projects of this program are implemented by the experts who represent governments of different countries. We give advice on issues that are of concern to all parties. These projects are not implemented European experts only. They are implemented by teams, and the Belarusian side must also take responsibility for their implementation,” she noted.

Andrea Wiktorin said that she is not yet ready to discuss concrete projects, because this meeting in the National Bank is the first one. “If there is interest on the part of Belarus, then we can talk about details. It is important to note that the Twining projects are projects in exchange and cooperation, exchange of experiences in the areas of common interest. We came here not to lecture someone or give advice. We want our neighbors to be closer to the European Union,” she said.

The EU Twinning program is aimed at providing long-term (up to 2 years) technical assistance to public authorities of the countries - EU neighbors in bringing their standards closer to the European legislation and standards in various areas. In particular, twinning involves designation of a partner public authority in one of the EU countries which, on the basis of its own experience, assists a public agency of an EU neighboring country in improving national legislation in the light of similar legal EU standards and enhancing skills.

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