The project «Town Twinning as a Channel of European Solidarity» (TTChan)
(submission number 601592-CITIZ-1-2018-1-LV-CITIZ-TT) was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme "Europe for Citizens"
Applicable to the Strand 2 – Measure 2.1 "Town-Twinning”
Participation: The project involved 159 citizens, notably 102 participants from the city of Daugavpils (Latvia),
16 participants from the city of Lodz, Warsaw, Krakow (Poland), 15 participants from the city of Panevezys, Utena, Vilnius (Lithuania), 6 participants from the city of San Benedetto del Tronto (Italy), 4 participants from the city of Vanersborg (Sweden), 2 participants from the city of Anhalt-Bitterfeld (Germany), 6 participants from the city of Raska (Serbia), 2 participants from Portugal, 1 participant from the United Kingdom, 1 participant from Belgium, 1 participant from Spain, 1 participant from France, 1 participant from Czech Republic, 1 participant from the city of Sofia (Bulgaria).
There were some participants from non European Union countries too: 1 from Kazakhstan, 1 from Belarus, 1 from Turkey.
Location/ Dates: The event took place in DAUGAVPILS (LATVIA), from 08/11/2018 to 12/11/2018
The day of 08/11/2018 (event number 1) was dedicated to welcoming project partners in Latvia in general and in Daugavpils and opening of the meeting. Representatives of Daugavpils City Council met all partners at the airport and on the way from Riga to Daugavpils gave short introductory course about traditions, language, symbols of Latvia and Daugavpils.
Evening was devoted to brief presentation on organizational issues of the meeting and “ice-breaking dinner”.
The day of 09/11/2018 (event number 2) was dedicated to “kick-off day activities”. It included official opening ceremony of the project, speeches of authorities and project partners in Daugavpils City Council. Daugavpils city was introduced in the form of presentation “Daugavpils is Diversity”.
The meeting continued in Daugavpils University, where lead partner informed all present stakeholders (meeting was open for all interested citizens) about the project “Town Twinning as a Channel of European Solidarity idea, essence, activities, planned results and impact on society. Project partners shared their best practices on Solidarity and intercultural synergy.
Representative of Ministry of Culture of Republic of Latvia presented the importance of year 2018: “Latvia’s Centenary – the catalyst for co-operation”, within which all stakeholders could get acquainted with history, traditions, celebrations, essence and program of Latvia’s Centenary.
The lecture “Daugavpils democratic engagement and civic participation in European context” was read by professor of Daugavpils University by involving all stakeholders. This lecture was followed by debate on future of Europe. Project partners and all stakeholders debated on how they see the future of Europe and European Union.
The first part of the day concluded with discussion on understanding and debating Euroscepticism and short work-shop “The image of my city/country”, where all international and local participants were divided in groups and had brain-storming on the traditions, objects, places, heritage, which makes main image of the city and/or country.
Local mass media representatives had an opportunity to interview international representatives.
Afterwards, all had an opportunity to visit Daugavpils Museum for “red and white ribbon braiding”, which is one of Latvian traditions before the national day.
In the evening, all were invited to Daugavpils Fortress and Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center to better understand local traditions and historical and cultural heritage of the Latgale region in the context of Daugavpils, because year 2018 was European Year of Cultural Heritage.
The dinner was devoted to intercultural synergy of involved partners. All had prepared some traditional performance – dance, song, and story and had brought traditional food for degustation. Daugavpils and Latvia was presented by local folk group, which sang local folk songs and showed some local folk dances by involving all participants.
The day of 10/11/2018 (event number 4) was dedicated to sharing, understanding, solidarity and intercultural synergy. Within this activity project partners had a tour in Latgale region – hunting European heritage – tourism objects, history, culture, traditions, food, networking with representatives of the cities of Latgale region.
After the tour all participants had an opportunity to share their impressions, to compare local traditions to their traditions and to propose cooperation fields or ideas.
The day of 11/11/2018 (event number 3) was dedicated to democratic engagement and civic participation – solidarity and intercultural synergy for better Europe as well as to Lāčplēsis day, which is part of European cultural-historical heritage (event number 5).
Project partners visited Daugavpils Design and Art School “Saules skola”, where they had a discussion on program Europe for Citizens town twinning importance and free discussion “What can I do to promote my partner”, where all involved project partners worked in their national groups and presented their local, regional and national heritage, culture, most popular festivals, people, objects and places. All the information is summarized and can be found on lead partners’ homepage, as well it was disseminated to all project partners.
All participants had an opportunity to see the movie about the history of Latvia and Daugavpils to understand better the essence of Latvia’s Centenary.
Lāčplēsis Day is a memorial day for soldiers who fought for the independence of Latvia. It is celebrated on November 11 marking the victory over the West Russian Volunteer Army – a joint Russian-German volunteer force led by the warlord Pavel Bermondt-Avalov – at the Battle of Riga in 1919 during the Latvian War of Independence. A popular Lāčplēsis Day tradition is to go on the Torchlight procession throughout all Daugavpils centre and in the end making a map in a shape of Latvia from candlelights. Within this activity all participants felt united and patriotic.
Project participants had an opportunity to visit local “Shmakovka museum”, which is included in national culinary heritage.
Some of the planned activities on this day were postponed to 09/11/2018 (event number 2) or rescheduled within other meeting days in aim to implement all the planned activities, not losing a planned timing for them. These changes did not influenced the project implementation in general.
The day of 12/11/2018 (event number 6) was dedicated to understanding town twinning importance, project evaluation, which included reflection on the benefits of the project and gaining of experience for future cooperation, discussion on pluses and minuses of the implemented activities and summary of the suggestions for future cooperation.
In general, all the planned events (1-6 in accordance with Application Form) and content activities within the project were implemented within the meeting on 8-12, November, 2018. Some events and activities were rescheduled within the meeting days in aim to implement all the planned activities in accordance with application form, and in accordance with the needs of project partners. These changes did not influenced the project implementation in general.