Successful completion of Twinning project in Azerbaijan
Looking toward the end of the Twinning project “Strengthening the National Accreditation System of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, the project partners extended invitations to a closing event in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 1 October 2019. Among those attending were the German National Accreditation Body
DAkkS in its role as lead partner and project manager, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in its role as project leader, the accreditation bodies of Italy and Latvia, ACCREDIA and LATAK, as well as the Ambassador of the European Delegation and representatives of the Azerbaijani Accreditation Centre (AzAK). Aside from the project results, the focus of the event was on looking ahead to the future of AzAK.
It was a high-profile event. In addition to the German and Latvian ambassadors, representatives of the Italian embassy, government delegates and representatives of Azerbaijani conformity assessment bodies also took part, together sharing their appreciation for the results of the project achieved over the past 28 months.
Since the beginning of the project in July 2017, numerous individual measures have been used to strengthen the competencies of AzAK and create new structures. The focus of the closing event of the project, which ends on 31 October 2019, was on the results of the four project components. These included activities in the areas of legal advice and the training of employees and assessors, as well as the development of a quality management system that meets the requirements of the international and European accreditation organisations IAF, ILAC and EA. DAkkS took part in numerous training sessions, presentations and the provision of consulting services in Baku, as well as in the organisation and implementation of study visits.
Conditions for lasting project success
At the event, Chief Executive Officer of DAkkS Dr. Stephan Finke paid tribute to the success of the project, noting that it establishes the conditions for continued good cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan. In his presentation, he underlined the requirements that are important for the sustainable further development of AzAK. “For the moment, we can all be proud of what has been achieved, but it is important to devote just as much energy to building on the results,” said Dr. Finke. He said that an indispensable basis for this is a legal framework for accreditation activities that is in line with current international requirements, adding that another essential responsibility of the national accreditation bodies is to anticipate economic developments and continuously expand their own competences to respond to them.
Twinning is the programme financed by the European Union for the development and harmonisation of public structures (institution building) in EU Candidate Countries and European Neighbourhood Countries in line with EU administrative practices and European standards.
At the centre of the Twinning project in Azerbaijan was the national accreditation body, with the aim of strengthening its operations through the experience of its European partners. An improved quality of infrastructure in the country, geared towards European and international requirements, should enable a strengthening of the national economy and an expansion in trade in industrial goods.
The project started on 1 July 2017, with the European Union providing an overall project budget of 1.2 million euros.