City Twinning has been around since the first contacts were made immediately after the Second World War.
The core of city twinning is to contribute to the promotion of intercultural understanding and respect across borders. This approach helps to build trust and understanding of each other’s cultures. It is used as a doorway to new knowledge and new partners that benefits the local citizens and businesses as well as all municipal subject areas.
Specifically, the twin cities give cooperation in the form of, inter alia, an annual liaison meeting of mayors and chief executives and an annual Nordic Friendship Week (Nordisk vänortsvecka för ungdom – NOVU) for young people in the Nordic countries.
NOVU Week is held alternately in each twin city. The week provides 100 young people the opportunity to get acquainted with different Nordic cultures, make new friendships across language and culture differences, and improve their skills in specific areas.
This week also involves politicians and officials from each city. Their program reflects current issues in areas such as children's culture, library services, urban development, etc.
The city names below contain links to the cities’ websites with information on the cities and surrounding areas:
Akureyri, Iceland - approx. 18,000 inhabitants
Ålesund, Norway - approx. 47,000 inhabitants
Lahti, Finland - approx. 120,000 inhabitants
Västerås, Sweden - approx. 142,000 inhabitants
Jelenia Góra, Poland - approx. 88,000 inhabitants
You can see them on the map as well:
The City Council allocates an annual amount for financial support to exchanges and events where the twin cities are involved.
Grants may be awarded for transportation costs, equivalent to 1/3 of the cheapest transportation cost.
When the twin cities visit Randers, a small grant is provided in addition to a reception at the City Hall.
Recipients of grants are committed to work for the spread of the city twinning.
Payment of the allowance is based on submitted accounts.