Welcoming address on the "Year of Twinning"
As your Lord Mayor, it fills me with pride that Wiesbaden maintains twinnings with a total of 18 cities and communities, a fact that illustrates how open-minded Wiesbaden is and always has been.
The motivation for establishing many of our twinnings was the European mind-set that emerged during the post-war years: nations who once were enemies taking a step toward one another, toward reconciliation, international understanding, and ultimately the wish for a united Europe. Values that are more relevant today than ever before.
Twinnings between cities do not live by official contact between their administrations. These relationships are kept alive by the personal contacts between citizens at home and abroad, as well as the outstanding work and commitment of twinning associations, schools and institutions, and sports and cultural associations. Most of this work is done by volunteers.
I declared 2016 the "Year of Twinning" because I wanted to honour the indispensable contributions of all active volunteers, and to emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of our twin towns.
It is my hope that the many and multifaceted events we have planned for this year will familiarise you, Wiesbaden’s residents, but also our visitors and guests, companies and institutions, with our twin towns and spark your interest in this topic.
We would like to invite you to take part in our "Year of Twinning" by visiting the events of participating associations and institutions that are listed in our calendar of events. Or you can take action yourself and organize an exhibit, a concert, an exchange, or any other kind of project for our "Year of Twinning", perhaps even with a twin town that does not yet have a twinning association.
It is our goal to build new and broader bridges to our twin towns. All of our activities, events, and projects are also intended to address young people in particular, as they are the key to long-term success of our twinnings. We want to provide new ideas for the future and find new formats for the continued development of the relationships with our twin towns.
So be a part of it! And experience the inspiring diversity of our twin towns and their unique characters.