This article examines the developments around the application of the Twinning modality in Serbia, from 2004 to 2019, its sectoral distribu-tion and impact, and the frequency of EU member states’ participa-tion. Besides providing an accurate state-of-play, it attempts, for the first time in the literature, to map the influence of member states in Serbia’s EU accession process through their participation in Twinning projects. Findings show that, in the given period, more than half of the Twinning projects dealt with the justice and home affairs and ag-riculture policy areas. This is in line with the importance attributed to those sectors in EU and Serbian strategic documents. The article fo-cuses on a macro-analysis of such projects in Serbia, revitalising their link with the wider Europeanisation process.
The research on the impact of the European Union on its candidate countries has been traditionally framed within the concept of Europeanisation. But the term, notwithstanding two decades of usage, still lacks clarity in its attributes and its referent. Moreover, the statehood of candidate countries has emerged as a prerequisite for its effectiveness, providing no answer for cases of limited statehood and limited Europeanisation. The concept of member-state building, which refers to the EU’s purpose of building functional member states while integrating them, may help reframe the academic discussion on the impact of the EU on candidate countries, particularly in limited statehood contexts, by complementing it with insights from the literature on state building.