German-Italian town twinning award
On September 17, 2020, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella have one for the first time Prize for municipal cooperation between Germany and Italy announced. The prize, which was awarded for the first time the following year, underlines the importance of town twinning for encounters and mutual exchange. The aim of the prize is to make German-Italian commitment visible at the municipal level and to strengthen it through specific projects. Only applications submitted jointly by German and Italian municipalities were considered.
The prize has so far been awarded in four thematic categories: culture, youth and civic engagement, innovation and social cohesion. The project measures of German municipalities are financed by the Federal Foreign Office and those of Italian municipalities by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim is to promote cross-border municipal and civic engagement in favor of the common good and peaceful cooperation between both peoples, and in particular to achieve goals 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.
The following 5 town twinnings won the competition as part of the prize for German-Italian town twinning with their respective projects.
Ludwigsburg and Bergamo
The project "Jugend-Bürgerrat Post-Corona" enables German-Italian exchange by involving young people between the ages of 15 and 30 and is intended to strengthen local democracy through structured participation processes. The cities of Ludwigsburg and Bergamo as well as the district of Ludwigsburg and the province of Bergamo concluded a partnership agreement in September 2020 to promote the goals of cooperation in the spirit of the European idea.
Steinhagen and Fivizzano
goal of the project “Friendship united in the same spirit” is to strengthen the ties between the two communities with a view to European integration. The municipalities of Steinhagen and Fivizzano have been twinning since September 1988 to promote mutual understanding and to strive for peaceful coexistence.
Hamm and Bari
The #URBANEVISIONEN project offers schoolchildren from the cities of Hamm and Bari a joint forum for research, discussion and participatory design. The aim is to create an opportunity to actively engage with the topics of urban renewal, historic urban spaces and culture. The cities of Hamm and Bari already maintain intensive cooperation in the field of education and training. Since May 2021, both communities have signed a friendship agreement with the aim of establishing partnerships and further expanding cooperation in the areas of culture, society and education.
Large district town of Giengen an der Brenz and San Michele di Ganzaria
The project "Municipal and European political youth exchange" is intended to promote German-Italian youth exchange on the subject of digital and environmentally friendly Europe in order to counteract the risk of social exclusion of young people, especially from rural areas. The large district town of Giengen an der Brenz and the municipality of San Michele di Ganzaria signed a partnership agreement in November 2018 to promote cooperation and further expand economic and cultural exchange.
Markt Höchberg and Bastia Umbria
The German-Italian exchange between families with autistic children is made possible by the project "Encounters of families with autistic children", which Markt Höchberg and the city of Bastia Umbria have launched. Within its framework, the differences and similarities as well as experiences in dealing with disabilities should be analyzed and opportunities for improvement found. Both places maintain a multi-year partnership that was signed in March 1990. The current goal is to intensify cooperation between Germany and Italy in order to ensure the security and sustainability of the future of Europe. Link to newsletter