Our Twin City process

Oxford is proud of the links we have with our eight twin cities, and believe international links provide a real benefit for our residents. Each of our city twinnings is a reflection of the interests and connections of the people of Oxford, and is a response to the passion and commitment of our residents to establish international connections themselves.

We as a civic authority provide a small amount of grant funding to Oxford International Links who transform relatively small amounts of seed funding into activities that provide an international dimension to many events and projects.

Oxford is a global, outward looking city and was among the first to begin city twinning when it was launched following the Second World War. Over the years we have developed a set of criteria and a process to ensure successful twinning relationships. We encourage those who are interested in developing links to consider and apply these criteria as they develop their twinning proposal:

  • The proposed twin city has a University of international renown that already has links with Oxford.
  • The proposed twin city is committed to immutable principles of individual liberty, democracy, respect for Human Rights and equality under the law.
  • A suitable voluntary link has been set up and has substantial evidence of driving ongoing activity with a cross-section of communities in Oxford and in the proposed twin city over a number of years.
  • After this track record has been established, the next step would be an agreed period during which a Friendship Agreement would be entered into to monitor the link’s ability to deliver sustainable activity in the longer term prior to signing a full twinning agreement.
  • The decision will need to be reviewed alongside the resource implication and only signed once a budget is in place and the Cabinet has taken the decision.

Before Oxford City Council are able to consider an official twin city link, we expect interested parties to independently make links with groups, business or academic institutions and be able to demonstrate evidence of developing these relationships over time.