Written Answers. - Town Twinning.

Seán Crowe

Question:

149 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government the process by which towns, cities and local authorities can be twinned with areas outside of Ireland; the procedure to be followed in twinning; the purpose of twinning; the role his Department has in the process; the conditions that must be met to permit a twinning to go ahead; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17250/03]

Section 75 of the Local Government Act 2001 provides that a local authority may enter arrangements for the twinning of its administrative area or a part of it with any other area outside the State. The decision to enter such an arrangement is a reserved function. The purpose of twinning includes the promotion of tourism, industrial development, cultural exchanges, fostering of understanding and co-operation between countries and the implementation of joint projects.

Twinning arrangements are made by the local authorities involved and my Department has no role in the process. I understand that European Union funded town twinning, under the community action for town twinning programme, is facilitated by the Institute of Public Administration.