Liptovský Mikuláš (Slovakia)
This town of 30,000 lies in the midst of the Liptov Basin. Liptovský Mikuláš is the economic, cultural and tourist centre of the Liptov Region. Opava has been twinned with Liptovský Mikuláš for over 50 years. A particularly important part of the cooperation between cities is in the area of youth and sports. In the past cross-border EU funds were used to finance the cooperation of Opava and Liptovský Mikuláš. The mayors of both cities regularly attend important events in the respective cities. In recent years local organizations in both cities cooperate without the direct involvement of city halls, e.g. the Silesian Grammar School from Opava has been cooperating with the J. Tranovský Evangelical Grammar School from Liptovský Mikuláš. Also firemen, sports club and other organizations from both cities have been cooperating and sharing good practices.
Similarly to Opava, Racibórz has approximately 60,000 inhabitants. Racibórz is a market town located in the south-western part of the Silesian Voivodeship. In the past the Amber Trail passed through the town. Opava and Racibórz started cooperation after the borders had opened in the 1990s and the cooperation between Opava and Racibórz has been going on for 30 years. The main advantage is the proximity of both towns, which allows for a close cooperation between the town halls and city organizations.
The cooperation between Opava and Racibórz significantly contributed to the establishment of Euroregion Silesia, which has been developing Czech-Polish cooperation among numerous towns, institutions and associations in the Opava-Racibórz borderlands. The city of Opava along with some other organizations (e.g. schools in Opava, Leisure Centre, or City Police Opava, Chamber of Commerce Opava) received EU subsidies.
The German Roth has only 26,000 inhabitants, but its strategic location 25 km south of Nürnberg and the navigation channel Main – Donau has made it an important centre of trade, services and industry. Cooperation between Opava and Roth was established in 2003 thanks to joint contacts with the Polish twin city Racibórz. Opava and Roth cooperate on many levels, e.g. the cooperation between Roth and Mendel’s Grammar School or the Business Academy and the elementary school Englišova in Opava. In 2017 and 2019 there were exhibitions about Opava held in Roth.
Żywiec is a town with 30,000 inhabitants located at the foot of Mount Grojec near Lake Żywiec. Opava started cooperation with the Polish Silesian town of Żywiec in 2009. The partnership agreement between Opava and Żywiec was signed in 2013 as a result of the initiative of Antoni Szlagor, the mayor of Żywiec. Like Opava, Żywiec is also twinned with Liptovský Mikuláš. The main area of cooperation between the towns is culture with focus on folklore traditions. Furthermore, Żywiec has been regularly participating in the Twin Cities Sports Day. Young athletes from Opava first visited Żywiec in 2016. Opava and Żywiec have been exploring new areas of cooperation and are looking into the possibilities of EU funding.
The city of Kearney lies in Nebraska, one of the central states in the USA. It is located 2,789 km west of Boston and 2,789 km east of San Francisco. The city with 35,000 inhabitants is a centre of trade and culture. The first contact between the cities was established in 2012. A year later a delegation led by the mayor of Kearny visited Opava. In return, an Opava delegation visited Kearney in 2016. In June 2017 a high school football club Kearny Cats toured Central Europe, playing matches in Opava and Prague. Kearney is home to the University of Nebraska in Kearny that has placed among the first ten best regional universities in the USA. In August 2015 the University of Nebraska in Kearny signed a partnership agreement with the Silesian University in Opava. First student and teacher exchanges took place in 2016.
With approximately 123,000 inhabitants Zugló is the 14th district of Budapest. It is one of the most picturesque and safest parts of the city. Zugló boasts a famous city park Városliget with Szecheny’s Spa, amusement park Vidampark, Heroes Square, Vajadahunyad Castle, important museums, a zoo and botanical garden, the most renowned Hungarian restaurant Gundel, and many other attractions. Opava and Zugló became twin cities in November 2019. Zugló is also twinned with Racibórz, which means that in the future Opava will be able to receive subsidies from the Visegrad Funds as well as Small Projects Funds in the Silesia Euroregion.