Twinning – An Overview

What is “Twinning” Jean Bareth one of the founders of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) after the 2nd world war defines it as;

 “The coming together of two communities seeking, in this way, to take action with a European perspective and with the aim of facing their problems and developing between themselves closer and closer ties of friendship”.

In this way, he identified the primary values which twinning represents: friendship, cooperation and mutual awareness between the peoples of Europe.

For twinning is the expression of a European unity and identity built from the grass roots.  It is perhaps the most visible form of European co-operation, with thousands of towns and villages proudly declaring, as you enter their territory, which partner communities they are twinned with.

Twinning can take place between small villages, towns, counties, big cities….  It can focus on a whole range of issues, and can involve a wide range of actors from two or more twinned communities.  A good twinning partnership can bring many benefits to a community and the municipality.

It can enable young people to get involved with their counterparts from a different country, and to gain self-confidence.  It can help everyone to better understand what Europe is and means in today’s world – and where the future may lead us.