Midterm conference in Azerbaijan
Twinning project moves into its second half
Since mid-2017, Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS) has been part of a twinning project designed to strengthen the national accreditation body in Azerbaijan (AZAK). DAkkS is the leading partner in a German-Italian-Latvian consortium with its counterpart accreditation bodies ACCREDIA and LATAK, Taking stock of progress at a midterm conference held in Baku at the beginning of September, the assessment of the participants was positive.
In addition to DAkkS, representatives of all project partners, including AZAK Director General Dr. Namig Aliyev and Dr. Norbert Schultes, Division Head at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and head of the twinning project, focused the attention of the midterm conference on the progress made to date. DAkkS alone took part in numerous training sessions, presentations and the provision of consulting services in Baku. These measures will be further intensified until completion of the project in mid-2019. “In the first year, we have already made a great deal of progress that brings us closer to achieving the common goal of all of those involved in the project: to further develop the accreditation system in Azerbaijan in order to create better conditions for trade with the European Union. The project therefore serves to strengthen the relationship between the two partners,” says Dr. Stephan Finke, Managing Director of DAkkS.
Background: Twinning is a European Union instrument for institutional cooperation between public administrations (of EU Member States and of candidate countries for accession to the European Union and countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It promotes the development of public structures in line with EU administrative practices and European standards.
At the centre of the Twinning project in Azerbaijan is the national accreditation body, and the aim is to strengthen 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 an expansion in trade in industrial goods. To achieve these goals, the following priorities have been set for the two-year project:
- Modernisation of primary and secondary law in the area of accreditation
- Development of the expertise of the assessors of the Azerbaijani accreditation body AZAK
- Improvement of internal processes and modernisation of the quality management of AZAK
- Improvement of external communication and support for the establishment of an international network
The project started on 1 May 2017, with the European Commission providing an overall project budget of 1.2 million euros.