Have you ever heard of the Douzelage? The Douzelage is a town twinning programme that currently consists of 27 twin towns and aims to promote opportunities and friendship throughout Europe through tourist, sporting, educational, cultural, and socio-scientific exchanges. The Commune of Niederanven is a founding member of the Douzelage. In 1991, together with 11 partners, the commune laid the foundations for a unique town twinning.

On this page, you will find all the information about the Douzelage, as well as about the activities of the Douzelage Team, founded in 2023.

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In 1993, Douzelage was awarded one of the most coveted distinctions in the field of European twinning: The "Etoiles d'Or du Jumelage". Today, the Douzelage is made up of the following member towns:

Agros (Cyprus), Altea (Spain), Asikkala (Finland), Bad Kötzting (Germany), Bellagio (Italy), Bundoran (Ireland), Chojna (Poland), Granville (France), Holstebro (Denmark), Houffalize (Belgium), Judenburg (Austria), Köszeg (Hungary), Marsaskala (Malta), Meerssen (Netherland), Niederanven (Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg), Oxelösund (Sweden), Preveza (Greece), Rokiškis (Lithuania), Rovinj/Rovigno (Croatia), Sesimbra (Portugal), Sherborne (United Kingdom), Sigulda, (Latvia) Siret (Romania), Škofja Loka (Slovenia), Sušice (Czech Republic), Tryavna (Bulgaria), Türi (Estonia), Zvolen (Slovakia).

The Douzelage Team


The team's aim is to maintain the European twinning, the Douzelage, and to represent our Commune. The team plans and organises associated activities or develops ideas for such activities. It also prepares the General Meeting, at which all the partner towns meet once a year. Cultural, tourist, sporting, educational and socio-economic exchanges under the European programme are also on the team's agenda.

f.l.t.r.: Hon Pan Luk, Marion van Alphen, Uli Fielitz (coordinator), Manon Sowa, Dietmar Dumlich, Laura Gaul (secretary), Jil Steyer, Pierre Welter, Lynn Klein (not on the picture: Josselijn de Vries (Alderwoman), Danielly Kaufmann, Georges Paquet).

Douzelage activities

Seven representatives from the Commune of Niederanven were at the General Meeting in Sherborne from the 11th to the 14th of April as part of the Douzelage. Conferences, workshops and concerts were organised under the theme ''Wellbeing through music and nature'', and our team came back with many new ideas for our Commune.

During the General Assembly with the delegates of all twin towns, a new board was also elected this year. Thanks to Annigje Kruytbosch, Tibi Rotaru, Mette Sørensen and Miha Ješe for their wonderful work over the past few years. We wish the new board with Shane Smyth, Thorsten Wohleser, Maria Črnac Rocco and Evelin Koev a happy hand in their new role.

Finally, we would like to thank the team in Sherborne for their warm welcome and excellent organisation!

© Pictures: Commune of Niederanven & Uli Fielitz Photography

On Saturday the 23rd of March, together with our Douzelage Team, we had the great pleasure of inviting our friends from Douzelage Meerssen and Douzelage Houffalize to our BeNeLux Meeting.

During the morning conference, we discussed current Douzelage projects and the General Meeting in Sherborne coming up in April, and exchanged new ideas, to strengthen the BeNeLux relations even more with concrete projects. We combined lunch at the CIPA Gréngewald with a tour of the building and a visit to the cogeneration plant "Am Sand". Finally, the BeNeLux Meeting was crowned by the inauguration of our brand new Douzelage totem in front of the commune building.

We would like to thank our friends from Meerssen and Houffalize for the great visit.

Under the name “Free Press under Pressure” (FPuP) seventy young adults from 19 member states of the EU sought for ways to discern factual, verifiable news from disinformation and “fake news”. The project was organised by Douzelage Meerssen in collaboration with Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht University, United Nations University (UNU-MERIT), Douzelage Köszeg and Douzelage Siret. The participants worked in seven workshops to develop a toolkit they can use to assess news and information and presented the results to each other. They worked with the enthusiasm and teamspirit and were a great example for older generations. The results, together with the toolkits of the young participants, were published on

Three girls and one representative from the Commune administration of Niederanven took part in the conference, which was held from the 5th to the 8th of November 2023. The stay was combined with some superb activities and excursions, including a visit to the Limburg Provincial Government.

After putting out a call on our social networks and on our website, we have had the opportunity to send five official delegates to the General Meeting in Rovinj/Rovigno in Croatia from the 28th of September to the 1st of October 2023. The General Meeting, which is basically a general assembly during which delegates from all Douzelage member towns take stock of the year, is also characterised by its many workshops and activities around a specific topic.

To get to know the new Board of Aldermen of Niederanven, the President of Douzelage Europe, Mrs Annigje Kruytbosch, paid us a visit on the 16th August 2023 and at the same time presented us with our certificate for 30 years of participation in the Douzelage as a founding member.


Join the Douzelage family!

Would you like to discover new towns, make friends and represent our town abroad? Then register with the Douzelage team using this form and join the Douzelage Europe family!

Laura Gaul

Communications & residents' participation