Basic information about the town foreign relations

The town foreign relations are represented by partnership with twin towns. For almost 50 years Opava has been cooperating with the Slovak town of Liptovský Mikuláš. Many projects are realised by local organisations without the municipal authorities’ direct involvement. Many Opavian senior citizens remember the youth exchange programmes in Liptovský Mikuláš.

Since there are two frontier crossings with Poland in the cadastre of Opava, it is only natural that Opava has formed partnership with Polish towns. The cooperation started in the late 1990s after the borders had been opened. This year Opava has celebrated 20 years of partnership with the twin town Racibórz. On this occasion, the two towns singed a new contract of future cooperation. The partnership with Racibórz is particularly advantageous because of the close proximity of the two towns. To promote cooperation among Silesian universities, Opava has been in partnership with Katowice since 2006. In 2009 Opava signed a contract of cooperation with the town of Żywiec, which is also a twin town with Liptovský Mikuláš.

The cooperation with Racibórz has resulted in partnership with its German twin town Roth; the contract was signed in 2003. Although the cooperation is not particularly lively, interesting projects of youth exchange programmes took place in the past.

The cooperation between Opava and Japan is particularly noteworthy. The partnership with the Japanese town Tsukuba, which is a technological centre of Japan, started in 2006. The cooperation with Tsukuba was mainly of cultural character. Due to the world financial crisis and current situation in Japan, the cooperation has been recently significantly reduced.

A part of the foreign cooperation is also Opava’s active participation in international networks of towns. Since 2005 Opava has been a member of Cooperation Network of European Medium-sized Towns, actively participating in conferences held by the cooperation. Opava was also a member of an international network of towns involved in project supported by the European Union (e.g. Repair).

In the past Opava cooperated also with other towns, e.g. the Danish Holstebro, Greek Preveza, Dutch Delft, or Russian Kamyshin. With the exception of Preveza, the contacts with other towns have not been maintained.