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News from Berlin

German and Belarusian Sister Cities Meet in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder)

April 14th, 2014

Photo Embassy of Belarus in Germany

News from Berlin - Partnerships between twinned cities are one of the most beneficial forms of collaboration that two countries can have. Such partnerships between Germany and Belarus were first introduced in the mid-1980s and then strengthened in the 1990s when, after the end of the Cold War, the need to create bridges between the East and the West was especially high. Nowadays, it continues to be particularly influential in the spheres of politics, economics, environment, culture, and education. Today, the network includes 20 pairs of twinned cities, for example, Bonn and Minsk, Nienburg und Vitebsk, Eisenach und Mogilev, Friedrichshafen und Polotsk.

On April 3-6, 2014, Belarusian and German delegations gathered in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder) at the 8th Meeting of Sister Cities after a break of almost a five years . The event was organized by the Belarusian Society of Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and Belarusian NGO “Sister-cities” with the support of the Embassy of Belarus in Germany on the side of Belarus, and by the administration of Frankfurt (Oder) and Foundation “West-Eastern Meeting” on Germany’s side.

Boris Batura, the Head of the NGO “Sister cities” and the Head of Belarusian delegation, pointed out that the system of twin cities is a tool of public diplomacy that has great potential for intensifying not only humanitarian but also economic relations by creating joint trade zones, technological parks, centers for medium entrepreneurship and other innovative projects.

In addition to a general conversation about the ways of enhancing cooperation, participants of six working groups discussed more specific topics such as housing services and utilities, the increase of energy efficiency, social involvement of people with reduced capabilities and youth involvement, social service procurement and the ways of attracting new cities to the network of twin cities.

As a result of the conference, the Belarusian city Nesvizh was chosen to host the next meeting.

News from Berlin – Berlin Global