Twinning originally came about in the late 1940s as a result of countries being torn apart by war. Local politicians and citizens encouraged communities to take part in twinning to reunite towns and villages that had often been divided by conflict.
Nowadays, twinning is about:
- understanding cultural differences
- involving everyone in the community – young and old
- coming together to share experience and expertise at educational, social, cultural and business levels
- establishing a dialogue to understand people and learn from them
- encouraging co-operation and international development
- giving people an opportunity to promote their own region.
Twinning can take place between even the smallest villages but it needs careful preparation in order to succeed.
It’s important to take into consideration the similarities between two areas such as:
- population size
- social, economic and environmental issues
- geographic location
- history and so on
Involving communities from the start is essential for a successful twinning partnership: citizens need to be active participants, driving the twinning forward.
There are 19 twin and partner towns in Fife and as a result many schools, associations, elderly people, youngsters, merchants associations, residents, firemen and sports clubs have benefited from twinning activities.
Their projects have been mostly self-funded or supported by the European Commission and other sources of funding (such as the lottery, community grants schemes and youth funding).
- Albufeira (Portugal) twinned with Dunfermline (since May 1995)
- Bapaume (France) twinned with Anstruther (since October 1991)
- Böblingen (Germany) twinned with Glenrothes (since 30 June 1971)
- Corte Franca (Italy) twinned with Aberdour(since (31st July 2004)
- Engcongolweni (Malawi) bond of friendship with Dalgety Bay (since 7th September 2009)
- Flekkefjord (Norway) twinned with Burntisland (since 1946)
- Holzminden (Germany) twinned with Levenmouth (since 27th June 1986)
- Gansu (China) twinned with Fife (since 1989)
- Ingolstadt (Germany) twinned with Kirkcaldy (since 1962)
- Loches (France) cultural partnership with St Andrews (since 1996)
- Logroño (Spain) twinned with Dunfermline (since 1990)
- Robinson Crusoe Island (Chile) twinned with Lower Largo (since 10th Sept 2004)
- Ste Ménehould (France) partnership with Cupar - formalised in October 2010
- Sarasota (USA) twinned with Dunfermline (since 23rd August 2001)
- Trondheim (Norway) twinned with Dunfermline (since 6th May 1945)
- Veere (The Netherlands) partnership with Culross (more than 400 years old)
- Vichy (France) partnership with Dunfermline (since Ca 1990)
- Wilhelmshaven (Germany) twinned with Dunfermline (since 24th August 1979)
- Zolotarevo (Ukraine) twinned with Newport-On-Tay (since 20th July 2002)
If you would like to know more about setting up a twinning association, please contact our External Relations Team.