The name is a portmanteau of the French words "douze" for twelve and "jumelage" for twinning and stands for the twelve founder members, one for each European Union member state in 1991, when the Douzelage Charter was signed in Granville, France.
Aims and organisation
The aims of the Douzelage are to promote and foster the spirit of Europe and to establish among others educational, economic, tourist, sporting and cultural links between the towns for the mutual benefit of the inhabitants thereof.
The Douzelage movement received European recognition in 1993 when it was honoured by the European Commission with the "Golden Stars of Twinning".
The original 12 founding members were:
Towns that joined later are:
In a first step of further expansion, five new towns joined the Douzelage in harmony with the European enlargement process:
- Chojna, Poland (2004)
- Kőszeg, Hungary (2004)
- Sigulda, Latvia (2004)
- Sušice, Czech Republic (2004)
- Türi, Estonia (2004)
Since 2007, eight further towns have joined the organisation:
- Zvolen, Slovakia (2007)
- Prienai, Lithuania (2008–2018)
- Marsaskala, Malta (2009)
- Siret, Romania (2010)
- Agros, Cyprus (2011)
- Škofja Loka, Slovenia (2011)
- Tryavna, Bulgaria (2011)
- Rovinj, Croatia (2016)
In 2016, Finland changed its member:
- Asikkala, Finland (2016)
In 2018, Lithuania changed its member:
- Rokiškis, Lithuania (2018)
- "Douzelage.eu: Home". Douzelage. Retrieved 2021-04-10.