Written Answers. - Town Twinning.

Seán Crowe


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.