13:30 – 14:30 – Panel Discussion: Best practices and challenges for the mobilization of Public Sector Expertise from the EU Member States that joined the Union after 2004 for Development Cooperation in the EU Partner Countries

Panel description: The representatives from the EU Member States that joined EU after 2004 will share and discuss information about their PSE involvement in the EU development cooperation  (Twinning, Taiex, grants, Sigma, delegated cooperation, other) and national bilateral development cooperation projects, their experiences on different organizational set-up and legal basis, incentives for public sector experts and their administrations as well as challenges facing public sector experts and their institutions for mobilizing Public Sector Expertise.  

Mr Linas Kojala, Moderator






Linas Kojala was named Director of Eastern Europe studies center, a leading think-tank in the Baltic countries, in 2016. In 2020, he also started a fellowship at Foreign Policy Research Institute (U.S.), where he has been working on security and economic issues of importance to the Baltic Sea region. He was also a Fulbright Fellow at Davis Center, Harvard University (2017-2018), and continues to be a non-resident expert at Davis Center Negotiation Task Force. 

Linas is also a columnist and a regular political commentator at Lithuanian TV and radio, as well as international outlets (including CNN, the Moscow Times, French, German, Dutch radio, etc.). His research interests include foreign affairs, U.S. foreign policy, European integration, security and NATO studies, information security. His book on Lithuania's accession to the European Union and current security challenges of Europe was among top-selling books in Lithuania in 2019. In 2019, he was voted third most influential Lithuanian public figure in a poll by the national media outlet DELFI.

Ms Miglė Jankauskienė, NCP for Twinning and TAIEX,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania - TBC

Ms Dubravka Smolič Vlaič, Croatian National Contact Point Twinning, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia







Ms Dubravka Smolić Vlaić is Head of Service for Knowledge Transfer in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. She has more than 15 years of experience in EU affairs in the segment of capacity building of state administration before and after the EU accession of Croatia. She has over 5 years of experience in coordination, management and implementation of technical assistance projects aimed to the countries in EU integration process.

As a Head of Service for Knowledge Transfer, Ms Smolić Vlaić is responsible for fundraising, financial planning, management, coordination and implementation of activities related to the dissemination of knowledge and experience gained during the EU accession negotiations process, relying on the pool of Croatian experts who participate in the various fields of the EU process. Her main responsibilities include preparation of the technical assistance projects, cooperation and coordination of activities with international institutions, partners and other donors, and coordination and implementation of Twinning out instrument. Ms Smolić Vlaić is National contact point for twinning out projects with the role to provide guidance to Croatian institutions conducting Twinning projects in partner/beneficiary countries. She supported Croatian institutions in preparation and implementation of 28 twinning out projects in 8 countries (1 Albania, 3 Bosnia and Hercegovina, 2 Georgia, 1 Kosovo, 1 Moldova, 5 Montenegro, 12 Macedonia and 3 Serbia), out of which two projects has been implemented directly by Service for Knowledge Transfer (in Republic of North Macedonia and Kosovo).   

She was project leader in Twinning project “Support to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in capacity building related to the Membership in the European Union (EU) (CRO MFEA)” related to capacity building of the Croatian MFEA as a beneficiary institution. Project was implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and successfully concluded in 2016.

Ms Iivika Kalden, Estonian National Contact Point for Twinning and Taiex from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia







Iivika Kalden has a Master’s degree in Advanced Migration Studies from the University of Copenhagen and in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Philipps University of Marburg as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Government from Tallinn University. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia in 2018 and has since then been the desk officer for UN development cooperation and the National Contact Point for Twinning and TAIEX. Previously, Iivika worked for the Danish Institute for Human Rights, supporting the Asia, Caucasus and Europe Program and the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner’s Office Equality Competence Centre of the European Union Cohesion Policy Funds.

Mr Reinis Trokša, Director of Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Policy Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

Ms Anda Anica, Development Cooperation Programs Department of Romania’s International Development Cooperation Agency RoAid







Anda ANICA has been working as a Project Manager at RoAid – the Romanian Agency for International Development Cooperation since 2017. She is responsible for implementing development cooperation projects in the field of disaster risk reduction and management of emergency situations. Before starting to work at RoAid, she was an intern at NewClimate Institute in Germany, a research institute for climate policy and sustainable development. Anda holds a Master’s Degree in International Development Studies from Grenoble-Alpes University in France, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania.