Monday, 26. august
Today we greet: Natālija, Tālija, Broņislavs, Broņislava

Twin Cities of Talsi


Presentation about Talsi Region and cooperation partners

Talsi Regional Municipality has nine official twin cities (Councils Resolution No. 135 (Protocol No.3; 11.02. 2010.)). Talsi twin cities are: Skolkovo, Moscow Oblast (Russia) with who the first Twinning Agreement was signed in 1967, which was renewed in 2001 and the newest. Saare County (Estonia), with who the first Twinning Agreement was signed in 1998, as well as, Võhma Municipality(Estonia), who has been sister city of Town of Stende since 2001. Prienai District Municipality (Lithuania) – first Twinning Agreement signed in 1999. Söderköping Municipality (Sweden) – twin city since 1996. Glostrup Municipality (Denmark) is a partner of Talsi Regional Municipality since 1992, as well as, Lejre Municipality (Denmark), who has been an sister city of Administration of Ģibuļi Rural Territory since 2007. Alanya (Turkey) has a Twinning Agreement with Talsi Regional Municipality since 2006 (since 2005 Protocol of Intent). Raalte Municipality (The Netherlands) signed Twinning Agreement with Sabile District Municipality in 2008 (before that a Cooperation Agreement was signed between Municipalities of Sabile and Heino, but in 2011 a new agreement between Raalte Municipality, Talsi Regional Municipality, Society “Vīnoga” and Foundation “Heino-Sabile” was signed). 







Year of signing the Twinning Agreement




Saare County (Saare):

Kuressaare, Orisssaare, Leisi, Muhu.




Town of Võhma (Võhma)


2001- 2014



Prienai District (Prienai)





Skolkovo  (Щёлково)






City of Alanya (Alanya)





Glostrup Municipality (Glostrup)


1992- 2014


Lejre Municipality (Lejre)





Söderköping Municipality (Söderköping)




The Netherlands

Raalte Municipality (Raalte)


2008- 2014


10. The Georgia
Telavia Municipality (Telavia)







Võhma Municipality in Viljandi County

At the end of the year 2010 Talsi region was visited by delegation from Võhma in Estonia, which is Stende’s twin town. Stende’s Municipality signed official cooperation agreement with this town in year 2001. The cooperation is occurring in fields of education, culture and municipality. So far cooperation has been only between schools. Although there is only a primary school in Stende, but in Võhma there is gymnasium, head masters and teachers from both the schools were able to find common work to be done. There have been both experience exchange trips between teachers and common camps for pupils.In summers (one summer in Latvia, another in Estonia) children were resting together, learning languages, singing and practising in floristics. The common camps for children were organized actively by Inta Ose (Latvia), who also taught floristics.

In 2006 we managed to restore our contacts and in August Estonians invited Stende Municipality to visit their town festival. A group of 10 people from Stende went to Estonia to get acquainted with experience of Võhma Municipality and to enjoy culture programme of town festival. In Võhma we met with friendly and responsive people, and the municipality was interested in further cooperation with Stende. Later on we were visiting each other on a regular basis. All former officials from municipality, teachers and staff from nursery school, as well as officials from Social service and “Stendes nami”, Ltd had visited the twin town. We have been in Võhma with our culture programs such as singing, dancing and exhibitions of folk art works. We have seen their most notable projects and have participated in their town festivals as well. Estonians have been at our town festivals and our National Holidays, participated in our Sport activities with their team and have been here for experience exchange.

Stende and Võhma are related towns: the history of Võhma as well is connected with railway development. In the Soviet times large national companies were establishing, the number of inhabitants and territory size are similar, too. The idea about implementation of common projects arose earlier. Stende and Võhma both had common problems as well: they did not have open-air stages, where to organize culture events in summers. They were organized in the territory of administrative buildings. In year 2007 Estonia - Latvia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2007 - 2013 were made by governments. The aim of this programme is: “To promote sustainable development for programme territory and economic competitiveness by obtaining integrated access to economical, social and environmental development thus local inhabitants and communities could be involved and get benefit from it”. In the territory of this programme both our twin towns are included. The programme is financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and co-financing must come from both project partner countries. Year 2008 were spent in a sign of project planning and elaboration “Connecting Stende and Võhma”. Several times we were meeting with specialists from Võhma municipality to discuss project activities and as a result write a competitive project application and submit it to corresponding programme. Our project was supported and already in year 2009 we were able to start the realization. But at that time in Latvia there was economic crisis and it was followed by reformation of municipalities, therefore Stende was included in Talsi region. In the region extensive projects were already begun and to find co-financing for this project immediately was not possible. In Võhma municipality unforeseen events were going on as well. Some inhabitants were worried about, that summer open-air stage built at town centre will influence their quality of life (due to noise). Therefore the project was stopped for some time. As the duration of Estonia-Latvia Cross Border Cooperation Programme is till the end of 2013 and all the disorders mentioned before had come to an end or have been solved, we have agreed with Tartu Joint Technical Secretariat about small changes in project work package and from January 1, 2011 we have started realization of the project “Connecting Stende and Võhma”.

Talsi region’s Stende town administration is administering partner of this project. This international project of culture exchange is extensive. The total budget of this project is 324 312.00 EUR and the duration of the project is 21 month. In the frameworks of this project such main activities in Stende and Võhma will be implemented: building of open-air stages (in Stende, Jāņu Square), common art workshops for adult dance collectives to learn each culture’s elements, common practices for adult choirs, common practices for youth choirs, practice in marketing for applied arts participants, preparation of common programmes for Latvian Days in Võhma and for Estonian Days in Stende, practices for employees from Talsi region and Võhma municipality in public relations and consultations in preparing of marketing material and implementation of Towns “brands”.



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