“Twinnings between Municipalities have paved the way to concept of decentralised cooperation and local government engagement at the international level. They need to become operational in a political and general framework”, stated Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Director, in her intervention at the general meeting on Twinning between municipalities.
The Congress was organised in Rybnik, Poland, (29 September – 1 October) by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), in partnership with the Association of Polish Cities, a CEMR member association, and the City of Rybnik, with the financial support of the European Commission and under the patronage of the Polish EU presidency.
The event was attended by more than 300 participants from 31 countries all over Europe. It focused on the methods of Twinning in building the european citizenship and further enlargement.
The Association of the Local Democracy Agencies was associated to this event and participated in the workshop on Europe XXL. The workshop was moderated by M. Tansel Kaya, member of the Municipality Assembly of Istanbul.
In her speech the Director of ALDA, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida also stated that “there is no shared development and democratic processes without a process of decentralisation based on functioning local authorities and participative and strong civil society. It is a process sine qua non, because peace, stability and growth need this element. A centralised and monolithic state does not have a chance. Even in the centralised countries (China), forms of autonomy and decentralisation (called in a different way) are necessary”.
Twinning between Municipalities make it possible to obtain an improvement of the capacity of public services, the development of cross-border cooperation projects and new forms of territorial cooperation upon which are based the majority of European policies, including those on social cohesion and development, and support administrative reform in transitional countries.
“The role of local and regional authorities –said Mrs. Valmobrida- is fundamental in transitional (east and now south) countries (like all the former CIS countries) and the practice of twinning/city to city cooperation is an additional element for institutional building. Many countries and areas are trying to find figure out their way : we need to strongly support democratic process, local democracy and civil society. It is for the benefit for us all, not only for stabilising our borders but also for strengthening our values – in Europe – and what we believe in”.