AT A GLANCE
The project aims at promoting innovation and creativity in the framework of town-twinning, both in Europe and with a special focus on South-eastern Europe, as a way to revitalise and develop town-twinning relationships and thus strengthen cooperation among “old”, new and forthcoming Member States.
The entire project is designed as a learning tool for acquiring the skills and administrative capacities necessary for successful implementation of twinning projects applying the methodology of international decentralised co-operation and promoting exchange of good practices in the field of town-twinning. The partner organisations gathering large number of municipalities will therefore have an important multiplier effect but also will help facilitate and improve the co-operation of respective local administrative departments.
More specifically, the project aims at:
- Promoting the concept of town twinning;
- Starting, revitalising, and developing town twinning relationships;
- Improving the quality of the activities within existing twinning relationships, especially by means of developing thematic cooperation;
- Developing new skills amongst those who are responsible for twinning activities at a local level;
- Promoting exchange of good practices in the field of town-twinning.
The general objectives of the project are to:
- Provide citizens with the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing a tighter-knit Europe, which is democratic and world-oriented, united and enriched by its cultural diversity, thus developing citizenship of the European Union;
- Develop a sense of European identity, based on common values, history and culture: Both the national workshops and international twinning conference are designed to help improve the quality contents of the twinning projects and help develop local capacities for European wide exchange of practice in promoting diverse cultural heritage of multicultural local communities across Europe;
- Foster a sense of ownership of the European Union among its citizens, by reinforcing the role of national associations of local governments in providing necessary tools and capacities for town twinning.
- Enhance tolerance and mutual understanding between European citizens, respecting and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity, while contributing to intercultural dialogue.
The program aims particularly at :
- Promoting the concept of town twinning with a special focus on linking good twinning practice among the cities of “old” Europe with Southeast Europe. The project activities will contribute both to establishing and to revitalising the town-twinning relationships and thus strengthen cooperation among “old”, new and forthcoming Member States.
- Starting, revitalising, and developing town twinning relationships. Considering the number and the geographic distribution of the partners involved, a new impetus will be ensured for thematic based co-operation for the smaller, non – capital cities to acquire new knowledge, improve their administrative capacities and experience on one hand, and to learn from the cities with substantial experience in twinning projects.
- Improving the quality of the activities within existing twinning relationships. The quality of existing twinning relationships will be improved through developing new innovative tools for twinning and cooperation as the result of interaction among the participants themselves, at the level of national workshops and international conference.
- Developing new skills amongst those who are responsible for twinning activities at a local level. The project aims at developing new skills amongst those who are responsible for twinning activities at a local level through their intensified interaction and introducing collaborative approaches in defining the common thematic co-operation initiatives.
Expected impacts on the target groups have three main dimensions:
At national level, the expected results are the increased number of:
- content based co-operation initiatives between local authorities and local civil society;
- content based initiatives between the national associations of local authorities and civil society;
- participants in specific thematic co-operation programmes;
- and the communication between the associations of local authorities and their members will be improved.
At European level:
- The number of international content based initiatives of the associations of local authorities will be increased;
- The number of European networking initiatives among civil society organisations will be increased;
- The number of participants in thematic twinning workshops will be increased;
- The communication and co-operation between local authorities from different parts of Europe will be enhanced.
The third dimension is an innovative dimension marked by collaborative approaches in identifying the most effective communication tool for twinning initiatives will be developed. The participants from different walks of life will work together for fostering cooperation to the benefit of citizens in different local communities across Europe.
The results of the project will be disseminated through the associations of local authorities in respective countries, but also through the network of ALDA composed of more than 150 members- local authorities and NGOs. More specifically- follow actions based on the experience in this project will be initiated within the network of 12 Local Democracy Agencies in Southeast Europe and Caucasus which will have the role of multiplier and the development of the follow-up actions in the countries in the Western Balkans and Caucasus.