A bit of history

Cultural melting, improvement of communication means and geopolitical evolutions has led the local authorities to broaden their areas of intervention …


After the Second World War, twinning constituted the first formal relationships between local authorities from different States. French towns and cities are willing to develop friendship relations with populations of German cities, then with towns of Eastern Europe countries in the 1980’s.

Through the French Law of February 6th 1992 relating to French Republican Territorial Administration, decentralized cooperation gives the right to local French authorities “to conclude agreements with foreign local authorities and their groups, in the frame of their own competencies and with respect to France international commitments.

Creating the concept of decentralized cooperation, this law confirms and supervises a reality that already existed since the end of the Second World War. Nowadays, these partnerships aim at precise topics, linked to specific skills local authorities have acquired. These authorities are paying attention to involve numerous local entities, such as NGOs.

In this historical context, the city of Clermont-Ferrand launched an international exchange program in 1966, with its first TwinCity, Salford (United Kingdom). Today, the City of Clermont-Ferrand counts nine partner cities around the world :

  • seven TwinCities :
    • Salford, Regensburg (Germany, 1969),
    • Gomel (Republic of Bélarus, 1977), 
    • Aberdeen (Scotland, 1983),
    • Oviedo (Spain, 1988),
    • Braga (Portugal, 1999),
    • Norman (Oklahoma - U.S.A, 1994), 

  • And two cooperations :
    • Oyem (Gabon, 2006)
    • and Anshan (China, 2006)

Credit: City of Clermont-Ferrand- Communication service