Following the Council’s endorsement to open accession negotiations with Albania in March 2020, the need to entirely align the Albanian law with the Union acquis has been highlighted. This Twinning project is designed to meet this requirement in the areas of personal data protection and digital rights. It builds on the Albanian Strategy on the Right to Information and Personal Data Protection 2018-2020 and supports the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 that emphasises the right of information and personal data protection and the need to strengthen the capacities of the independent institutions in charge for the defence of human rights. At the same time, it is in line with the EU Revised Indicative Strategy Paper for Albania for the period 2014-2020 which focuses on public administration reform and good governance, with a view to promoting the accession of Albania to the EU.
On 30 June 2020 the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan announced that Lithuanian institutions together with Austrian colleagues were awarded the contract to implement EU Twinning Project "Strengthening the capacity of State bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan". Considering the restrictions on movement caused by COVID-19 pandemic the start of the project is foreseen from 1 September 2020.
On 14 March 2019, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) organised the panel discussion “HUMAN RIGHTS TALK: ‘Under construction’: How does the EU grow and develop with the help of the instrument ‘Twinning’ as an area of freedom, security and justice?”. The event was hosted by the Representation of the European Union in Vienna.
Since its creation 20 years ago, the Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights has been working towards an enhanced cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in the fields of justice, freedom and security with the aim of reinforcing the rule of law.
On 24 November 2017, the Heads of state/government from the EU Member States and the six Eastern partner countries gathered in Brussels for an Eastern Partnership Summit in order to take stock of achievements since the last summit two years ago and to consult on future cooperation until 2020. Forming part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was launched in 2009 to promote political association and economic integration between the EU and the six countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. One of the EaP priority areas is the strengthening of good governance, rule of law and thus also of the compliance with human and fundamental rights.
The BIM – as part of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft Austria’s largest human rights research, training and consulting institute and institutional bridge between research and practice – has been supporting these objectives since 2017 through its participation in two Twinning projects in Ukraine:
From 20-24 November 2017, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights welcomed a 10-person study visit delegation from the office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) in Vienna. The visit took place within the framework of the on-going Twinning project “Strengthening the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights”, in which the BIM is the Austrian partner institution.
The formal closing event in Rabat on 8 September 2017 acknowledged a 28-month cooperation with the Moroccan Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights (Délégation Interministérielle aux Droits de l’Homme, DIDH).
On the occasion of the completion of the Twinning project „Support to the advancement of human rights and zero tolerance to discrimination“, the project closing event took place on 07 June 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia. Representatives of UN agencies and the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Serbian stakeholders including representatives of line ministries, National Councils of National Minorities, the Judicial Academy and Civil Society Organizations involved in the protection of human and minority rights attended this event.
As part of the Twinning project to strengthen the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the website http://www.twinning-ombudsman.org/ is now available where you can download all relevant legal acts as well as written project results (including analysis, studies and recommendations). In addition, we produced a short video in which all project partners briefly explain why they work on the promotion of human rights in Ukraine. The project is implemented from January 2017 to December 2018 by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, the Law Institute of Lithuania, the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office and other Lithuanian partners.