Twinning between the Naxxar Local Council and Mornago (Provincia di Varese), Italy

Following an expression of interest from Naxxar to be twinned with an Italian village, the Mayor, Dr Maria Deguara, and Executive Secretary, Mr Paul Gatt, visited Mornago for a day, in December 2009, as an exploratory visit and to discuss with the Mayor and Council of Mornago issues of mutual interest and to check whether a twinning will be beneficial for both communities.

Once both towns agreed to be twinned, the Naxxar Local Council applied for EU funds under Measure 1.1, Town Twinning Citizens’ Meetings, which falls under the Europe for Citizens Programme. The aim of the project  was to bring together people from Mornago and Naxxar, share culture and discuss issues of interest to both.

The project was approved and forty people from Mornago visited Naxxar between the 4th and 13th August 2010.  Various meetings were held which included formal and informal discussions and presentations.  The participants also visited places of interest and of historical importance, organisations and local businesses. There was also time allocated for social and informal encounters at various locations in Naxxar.

On the 7th August  a special event was organised at Pjazza Vittorja where the official twinning document was signed by the Mayors of both towns, Dr Maria Deguara and Dr Paolo Gusella.  This event was witnessed by the then Parliamentary Secretary for Local Councils, Dr Chris Said as well as high officials and members of the Province of Varese, including Mr Bruno Specchiarelli, an Assessore of Varese.

Following the success of this visit, Mornago applied for EU funds under the same programme to be able to receive a delegation from Naxxar in Mornago.

This visit took place between the 9th and 16th September 2011. The delegation consisted of 40 people from Naxxar that had backrounds in different aspects of the comunity. The Naxxar delegation took part in various discussions and presentations and was also taken to visit various organisations and local businesses in Mornago and also the Province of Varese. Similar to the visit of Mornago to Naxxar, during this trip there was also time allocated for social and informal encounters.

During both trips, the participants managed to gain a lot of experience through the discussions and also through the informal and social interactions. It was an opportunity for the citizens of both towns to learn from each other and appreciate a different culture, thus strengthening the town twinning relationship between the two towns.