Project Details

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.

Detailed Description

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

7 facilitators


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.


Initiated by

  • Covenant of Mayours

Initiators are

• Public institution

Funded by

• Federal or State Funds

Project Website(s)

Contact Info

Eugenia Mansutti
Capacity building & events

Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office
63-67 rue d’Arlon
1040 Brussels, Belgium

☎ : +32 2 552 08 51
✉ :
Skype: eugenia.mansutti

Project Topics

Civil Society, Governance, Public Services & Administration, Urban Development

Level / Project Complexity /


Participating Cities

  • Albertsund
  • Ljungby
  • Formigine
  • Xirivella
  • Leeds
  • Breda
  • Udine
  • Zadar
  • Vaasa
  • Ghent
  • Lecce
  • Serres
  • Turku
  • Bologna
  • Braga
  • Sant Boi de Llobregat
  • Ath
  • Saldus
  • Figueira da Foz
  • L’Aquila
  • Smiltene
  • Milos

Sizes of Participating Cities

• 20.000 - 100.000
• 100.000 - 500.000
• 500.000 - 1,5 Mio

Participating Countries

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Finnland
  • Spain

Project Region(s)

• Europe