The Austrian Parliament is very much committed to its engagement in the region of the Western Balkans. It started a cooperation with the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) to establish a new Fellowship Programme, the “EFB Fellowships at the Austrian Parliament”. On the basis of the EFB’s 10 years Fellowship Programme for Government Officials, this new programme organized and financed by the EFB addresses officials of the National Parliaments of the 6 Western Balkan countries. The Austrian Parliament is offering to serve as a host institution for fellows selected by the EFB via public call and is thus the first National Parliament to cooperate with the EFB in such a way. The current Twinning Project serves as another opportunity to deepen parliamentary cooperation on the administrative level.
In the Twinning Project, from Austria not only the experiences of the federal parliamentary chambers (National Council and Federal Council) over the last 24 years in the EU legislative process but also those of the provincial parliaments (Landtage) are involved in the project implementation based on the needs of the Beneficiary and especially the Cantonal Assemblies. In addition, the strong bridging role of Austria in the region and its deep understanding of the current enlargement process regarding the Western Balkans countries make its involvement particularly valuable.
In the BiH parliamentary twinning programme the Austrian Parliament is junior partner in the implementing consortium.