The European Covenant of Mayors’ Twinning Programme
Short Description and Goal
The programme offers cities, regions and provinces across Europe the opportunity to take part in twinning exchanges that aim to increase local authorities’ capacity and knowledge to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Starting in 2017, the CoM developed this program with the aim of increasing local authorities’ capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change while creating long-term partnerships between European, local, and other subnational authorities. Two waves of twinnings have since been launched – 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 – each consisting of 7 pairs of twinned entities. By the end of 2019, fourteen partnerships will have been developed leading to long-lasting cooperation.
Two funded visits per twinning facilitate an exchange of expertise in which cities gain inspiration on how to become more resilient and reduce emissions. After the initial visit, the two cities work together to develop a roadmap, outlining the challenges they each face and areas on which they would like to focus on the final return visit. This is also an opportunity for the visiting city to reflect on what they have learned – the measures presented by the host city – and consider if and how these could be replicated in their city. Additional activities are considered and outlined before the return visit
Resources This Project Needed
Key feature is the methodology of searching for participants and pairing them based on the questionnaire. Applicants had 2 months to express interest based on the questionnaire. Pairing happened internally. It was based on the questions on challenges and needs of each applicant. Next the CoM Twinning programme group contacted chosen cities and asked if they agreed with the pairing and if they were ready to travel in-country and the city that was offered.
If they agree, they start to get in touch and plan visits with help of facilitator from CoM. After the initial and return visits they focus on projects that they decided to put on the focus of the exchange.
Covenant of Mayors twinning programme included not only cities, but also sub-national governments.The program was open to EU and EUA countries.
CoM always serves as an intermediate moment. Cities share what they learned. Representatives get together and make an analysis of the projects and how they could be replicated in their cities. They analyze how much would it cost to bring it forward in their cities.
In the end of the projects second stage, CoM staff developed infographics. The publication that captured the main outcomes.
All the participants passed through the secret Survey – how they could improve the programming the future.
The pairing wasn’t hard, because that was based on the questionnaire. So trouble is to make a proper questionnaire so that a city could learn something useful.
Challenge: only two people participate per city. They can hardly be experts in all the topics, necessary for excjng
Another challenge: staff time. CoM can’t pay for the staff-time traveling and not working during the exchange, so it’s volunteerly.
To make a project like this organizers should have an adequate level of English and appropriate amount of time for the activity.
Every couple of cities had one twinning facilitator from CoM. He/she will be there for both parties. Normally one person facilitates 1-2 twinnings. It’s very useful for the same facilitator to follow the twinning from the very beginning.
- Covenant of Mayours
Capacity building & events
Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office
63-67 rue d’Arlon
1040 Brussels, Belgium
Level / Project Complexity /
- Sant Boi de Llobregat
- Figueira da Foz
Sizes of Participating Cities
• 100.000 - 500.000
• 500.000 - 1,5 Mio
- United Kingdom