The Říčany partnership

The history of twinning in Říčany is over 30 years old. In 1992, the first agreement was concluded between Říčany and Albertslund in Denmark, in 1994 with Mölndal in Sweden, in 2000 with Whitstable in the UK, in 2016 with Opatówek in Poland and in 2017 with Borken in Germany. We are associated with Dainville and Grabow through Whitstable.

The whole idea of connecting and associating with other European cities was born in the early 1990s by Mr. František Vrba (former mayor of Říčany). Together with his partners in Denmark, they agreed that it would be a good idea to join together and establish partnerships and look for cities that were compatible with each other. It all started very modestly, with small trips abroad in order to gain as much experience as possible from our partners abroad (after all, this was the post-revolutionary period when town halls all over the country were learning to work a little differently...). Until then, verbal agreements and friendly meetings slowly started to turn into documents and took the shape of "partnership and town-twinning".

In 1996, Říčany received the "Gold Star of the Partner Cities" from the European Commission for the project "Olympics for Secondary Schools". The Gold Star was another step towards Říčany becoming part of the Whitstable Twin Towns Association (WTA) in 2000. The Association is an independent, self-funded association, which currently consists of 6 twin towns: Albertslund (Denmark), Borken (Germany), Dainville (France), Grabow (Germany), Mölndal (Sweden) and Říčany (Czech Republic). The Association also has close contacts with East Renfrewshire (Scotland) and Bolkow (Poland).

After a very successful start of the partnership in 1992, Říčany stopped participating in the partnership activities in 2002. It took 10 years for the town of Říčany to become active in the town partnership again.

The first was the participation of representatives of the City of Říčany in Albertslund, Denmark, at the end of August 2011 at the annual conference of partner cities. Other activities did not wait long. The call in the Courier for volunteers who would like to dust off and bring to life the partnership in Říčany was answered.

Petra Šmolíková and Jana Vavřinová revived this idea and attracted other related people and started a number of projects. The first of them was the establishment of the PARTNER CITY COMMISSION (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), as an advisory body of the Říčany City Council, which discusses and approves proposals for activities within the partnership. The Commission also has a modest budget to cover administrative costs and possibly foreign travel and minor expenses when visiting colleagues from the twin cities.

Without significant help from the whole Town Hall, we would not be able to implement and carry out the activities of the Partnership.