Victoria and Nichelino twinning agreement celebrated

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Victoria and Nichelino twinning agreement celebratedOn Sunday, the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, attended a town-twinning ceremony in Independence Square, which celebrated the signing of the twinning agreement which recently took place between the localities of Victoria, Gozo and Nichelino, province of Torino Italy.

Amongst those present were Chris Said, Parliamentary Secretary for Public Dialogue and Information, Victoria Mayor Robert Tabone, Justyne Caruana, mayors and councillors, and other distinguished guests.

A Holy Mass at Don Bosco Oratory was also held to celebrate this occasion by H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo.

Around 140 residents from the town of Nichelino in Italy are currently on a four-day visit to Gozo and Malta in connection with their town-twinning ceremony with the locality of Victoria, Gozo.

The town-twinning agreement ceremony, was presided over by Parliamentary Secretary for Public Dialogue and Information, Dr Chris Said, who said that town twinning helps citizens to look beyond each locality’s confines and open up to new experiences of other cultures, while sharing their own customs and their way of life with others. Through this collaborative process residents shape a better quality of life for themselves and learn to actively participate more in their locality’s civic life.

Town twinning experiences prove to be opportunities for residents to learn about other European towns, to see what is in common and what is not, and to discuss related issues within a European dimension.

Dr Said added that such twinnings are important tools to develop links between European citizens and contribute to promoting both diversity and unity of Europe. They also help to develop a sense of European identity without compromising our characteristics which distinguishes us as Maltese. We are seeing the benefits reaped through collaboration of cities and towns and their networking as local authorities are working hard to enrich the cultural life of their residents and to mould new experiences for them.

Town twinnings have significantly brought closer local communities and others from across Europe. The sharing of experiences, ideas, and the debating of different arguments have led and are leading to the forming of new friendships. These exchanges of experiences in various areas help residents and all those involved with leading the locality to become more aware of the importance of seeking concrete solutions to local problems even at European level.

Such exchange of experiences with persons from other towns definitely helps to remove mental barriers and not to continue thinking in isolation. They help to make us become conscious of the importance of finding concrete solutions at European level confirmed the Parliamentary Secretary.

Local Councils have an important role through exchange programmes to help develop the tourism sector, especially through niche tourism initiatives, particularly those in the areas of agriculture, culture, sport and rural tourism, added Chris Said.

The Parliamentary Secretary also referred to MEUSAC’s role in assisting Local Councils to apply for EU projects also in connection with Town-Twinning – such as the Europe for Citizens Programme.

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