International contacts to twin cities are essential from the aspect of the development of settlements. The establishment of external relations provides excellent opportunity to learn about the activities of other municipalities, to co-operate and to exchange information and experiences. In addition to that, it also supports tourism and the cultural life of settlements. On the long term, it has considerable economical benefits as well since co-operation in the field of culture, education or sports may have a positive impact on the economy.
In 2012, the Municipality of Nagykovácsi established official twinning contacts to the Slovakian Andód, a small settlement populated mainly by Hungarians. Contacts have been deepened and strengthened during the past two years insomuch that now we intend to submit a joint EU application together.
The Municipality has maintained friendly relationships with Linum in Germany and Bolatice in the Chech Republic for several years. This involved mainly the participation of students of the age of 14–21 in international camps located in these countries where young people could to meet and connect (organised by Bázis Ifjúsági Alapítvány). Most probably, these contacts can be made official and further developed in the future.
From this year on, the latest twinning contacts of Nagykovácsi will further be developed. In August, we have signed a trilateral town-twinning convention initiated by Poggio Mirteto in Italy and Canejan in France. These two settlements have 13 years of experience in the field of identifying and tapping the benefits of twinning programmes. Both towns consider this new connection with us to be of high quality, useful and successful.
As far as Nagykovácsi is concerned, twinning contacts represent new an unknown territory but I am convinced that we can learn a lot from our partner settlements and that it will be to the advantage of all parties involved. There are tremendous opportunities for further development and co-operation: for instance cultural interchange, exchange programmes among schools, institutions, associations, joint programmes, organisation of international events, conferences and study tours, learning and practicing of foreign languages, exploring mutually beneficial economic potentials etc.
A nice inhabitant of Nagykovácsi who volunteered to help us overcoming language difficulties during the annual town festival summarized her opinion about contacts as follows: ‘I think that international contacts are particularly important. I am convinced that it is one of the aims and raisons d’etre of the European Union to bring the countries closer to each other through personal contacts so that cohesion can be strengthened. We could see a wonderful example of that on Saturday. It was moving to see the wreath laying ceremony and to experience that Nagykovácsi has contacts to a Hungarian village in Slovakia. My heartfelt wish is to see these international contacts growing and deepening.’
I am very happy that through its partner contacts Nagykovácsi has the opportunity to have a wider perspective, to befriend with several European countries, to exchange experiences and to work out joint projects, all facilitating the development of our village. It can only be helpful if we are open to novelties and differences and we are not afraid of learning from others and to transfer our experiences to those in need.
I wish that Nagykovácsi will be able to gain all from that!