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Twinning Congress : What future for Town-to-Town exchanges ?

What future for Town-to-Town exchanges in 2024 ?

The Brittany-Ireland Twinning Congress will be held from May 15 to 21, 2024. It is organized by the Brittany-Ireland Confederation. This is the culmination of several years’ commitment, which began after the general meeting held on the Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven.

A constructive presence of Irish and Breton twinning partners in favour of exchanges.

In 2019, aboard the Ferry le Pont-Aven, representatives of Irish Twinning Committees come on board during the stopover in Ringaskiddy to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of twinning with their Breton counterparts.

What future for Town-to-Town exchanges ?

The aim of the 2024 congress is to build on this momentum and create new exchange opportunities. These will be better adapted to current needs. This meeting in May will also enable us to get involved more concretely with our Irish friends in inter-town projects. For example, towns that are close to each other could very well join forces to carry out a sporting, cultural or environmental project…

Photo credits – Confédération Bretagne Irlande -May 2019-All rights reserved

This 2019 meeting event, the first of its kind, was a great success and the Irish came in large numbers to express their desire to continue the exchanges through the committees.

Until May, a series of articles will appear on our website to keep you informed of the progress of the project and its completion.

If you have any comments, ideas or would like to join us in helping out, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

The twinning & exchange congress, Brittany and Ireland look towards new horizons

We have chosen the week of Saint Yves for this congress, which will bring together a maximum number of twinning committees between Brittany and Ireland. For many of them, exchanges between Brittany and Ireland began over thirty years ago. The oldest twinning is that of Lorient & Galway, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2025.

The Festival of Brittany around May 17 seemed an appropriate way to pay tribute to friendship and loyalty. A year earlier, thanks to Honorary Consul Catherine GAGNEUX, of Galway had welcomed the twinning committees for a convivial day of twinning within the same framework of Saint Yves Day  .

Photo : Charte de jumelage du comité de Guidel Carrigaline – Tous droits réservés

Le congrès des jumelages du 15 au 21 mai 2024

Preparing for the 2024 event : an ongoing commitment

The week’s program will be presented shortly, and can be downloaded in PDF format for those who wish to know more.  All our articles on the subject will be translated into English for our Irish friends.

But today, it’s time for everyone to mobilize!

Indeed, a congress such as this can only take place if we find the necessary forces within our associations, local, departmental and regional elected representatives. The business community will also be called upon, as one of our projects is to enable young adults to benefit from an immersive work experience both in Ireland for our Breton youngsters, and in Brittany for our Irish youngsters.

Gérard LABOVE, current President of the Morbihan Federation, has been working on this task for over a year. The development of contacts is beginning to bear fruit.

Other ideas are germinating, such as setting up a sports exchange (rugby/Gaelic soccer), and the greatest desire of most twinning committees is to relaunch school exchanges.

The vital role of local elected representatives

Local councillors need to realize how important and fortunate it is for towns and cities to be able to energize links between citizens, thanks to these magnificent tools for bringing people together – the twinning committees. Let’s not forget that twinning is a commitment between two towns! Municipalities then delegate the management and implementation of projects to the committees and associations set up around these exchanges.

Le jumelage, une histoire d'amitié

Photo credits – Confédération Bretagne Irlande -May 2019-All rights reserved

Federations: a facilitating and unifying intermediary

Each departmental federation has an important mission, that of mobilizing member associations, of course, but they must also reach out to non-member associations who may have the same need to reinvent themselves.

They must show their commitment to federating by regularly taking part in the board meetings of twinning committees, or by organizing friendship days. There is also the question of organizing a federal day to enable committees to get to know each other better.

And, finally, their concrete involvement in the organization of the Congress will be the best proof that the associative sector can weather storms.

Le jumelage

Photo credits – Confédération Bretagne Irlande -May 2019-All rights reserved

The associative sector is in danger

For the past ten years or so, we’ve all been aware of the changing face of associations.  Members are getting older, new members are becoming rarer, and more and more of them join associations when they retire. One of the key questions of the congress will be to examine the thorny issue of mobilizing young people and their projects. But we’ll also be asking ourselves, by inference, what the future holds for our associations.

Concepts change, needs change, solutions evolve. But what remains stable and true is the human being at the heart of it all. So, how can the man or woman of good will still fit into a collective movement when all around us is focused on the individual?

It will be a challenge to come up with one or more solutions during the Congress !

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