Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Town twinning


Town twinning was first developed shortly after 1945, when mayors and citizens alike were determined more than ever to prevent Europe from being torn apart by war. Bringing together citizens from different countries and cultures has always been at the core of CEMR’s activities, along with promoting cooperation between elected local representatives and citizens themselves. CEMR seeks to strengthen the links of exchange between municipalities, as these links are a driving element in the construction of Europe.  

To this day, town twinning continues to evolve. It allows two or more municipalities to concentrate on common issues which can sometimes be very specific, such as water management, economic development, or the improvement of social services.

In a Europe that is constantly evolving, CEMR works to ensure that town twinning remains an instrument adaptable to contemporary issues and to the current environment in which we live. CEMR collaborates with the European Commission to encourage town twinning as well as modern and quality exchanges that involve all sectors of European society.

Focus-group on town twinning

Our focus group gathers Twinning coordinators and experts from CEMR member associations. It aims to promote, monitor, and develop new forms of twinning. The network also makes recommendations to the European Commission regarding the Europe for Citizens programme.
Our objectives:
  • To guarantee peaceful relations between Europeans and to ensure their active participation at the local level;
  • To reinforce mutual understanding and friendship between European citizens;
  • To provide a virtual platform (town twinning website) to encourage and facilitate town twinnings between European municipalities;
  • To encourage technical cooperation between municipalities and the exchange of best practices;
  • To support good local governance and reinforce the role of local and regional authorities in the European integration process.

Town twinning website

Discover, a virtual meeting place for Europe’s municipalities wishing to set up new twinning links. Available in more than 20 languages, the website includes an online form to be filled out by municipalities in search of a partnership.Users can also find answers to all their twinning-related questions: What is the definition of town twinning?  Why commit to a twinning partnership in our day and age?  How to find a twinning link?  Who can help out with the process?

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