On 26 July 2016, the new Twinning Light project, Strengthening the Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Criminal Matters, was officially launched at the EU InfoCentre in Skopje. The project is funded by the European Union’s IPA2012 program. The overall objective of this project worth € 249.500,00 is the consolidation of the rule of law through improved implementation of international and European Union standards and recommendations in the areas of freedom, security, justice and respect of human rights. The project’s purpose is to strengthen the capacities of the Department for International Legal Assistance in the Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecution Office, courts and competence stakeholders involved in mutual legal assistance (MLA) in civil and criminal matters. The project will be implemented in the coming eight months with the assistance of short-term experts from the Netherlands through CILC. Given the partly similar aim of the Twinning Light project with the IPA2014 regional project, the Twinning Light project should be seen in close correlation with the latter. At the kick-off meeting, the new Macedonian Minister of Justice, H.E. Mr. Valdet Xhaferi, appreciated the assistance from the European Union and the Netherlands in increasing capacities for the international legal cooperation. H.E. Ambassador Wouter Plomp reminded the Macedonian authorities of their commitment to the Rule of Law as a crucial condition on the path of further European integration. Mr. Jaromir Levicek of the European Union Delegation in Skopje highlighted the importance of the project against a further globalisation of business, the increased cross-border movement of persons and the necessity for an intensified cross-border fight against organised crime. The Netherlands project leader, CILC deputy director Eric Vincken, presented the project more in detail to the attendants of the kick-off meeting. After the formal launch of the project, the first meeting of its Steering Committee took place at the Ministry of Justice in Skopje.