Enhancing Cooperation between Rural Localities – Town Twinning between Imgarr, Malta and Lagosanto, Italy




The project «Enhancing Cooperation between Rural Localities » was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”



Applicable to the Strand 2 – Measure 2.1 “Town-Twinning”


Participation: The project involved 115 citizens, notably 54 participants from the locality of Lagosanto, Italy,

61 participants from the locality of Mgarr, Malta.

Location/ Dates: The event took place in Mgarr, Malta, from 07/04/2016 to 11/04/2016

Short description:


07/04/2016: An introductory activity was held where the Mayor of Mgarr Mr. Paul Vella welcomed the Italian group, and gave an explanation to all the Maltese and Italian participants about the the objectives and targets of the project. Then the participants went through the programme with Mr. Vella giving details about each of the activities, including venue and logistics.

The introductory activity was followed by presentations about Mgarr and Lagosanto and their communities, where the participants got to know about life in villages, geographical and cultural information. A panel discussion between the members of both local councils followed focusing on similarities and differences between the two localities, such that the participants got a clearer idea about the common challenges. Then the participants discussed possibilities of cooperation between the two localities varying from business opportunities and exportation, and also voluntary work, cultural events, the role of women in our communities, sports and collaboration between the sports societies.

An EU funding expert and Chairman of the Majjistral Action Group delivered a presentation about the Europe 2020 Strategy and its implications on small towns, focusing mainly on how the Europe 2020 strategy facilitates competitiveness, productivity, growth and social cohesion. After the presentation, the participants discussed and suggested methods, policies, actions and innovative ideas that may be adopted by the local councils of Mgarr and Lagosanto so as to contribute to the EU2020 Strategy.


08/04/2016: The second day of the project was dedicated to the significance of the town twinning arrangement between Mgarr and Lagosanto with representatives of both local councils explaining how such agreement has contributed and will continue to have impact on the lives of the citizens. A discussion followed focusing on European integration through town twinning agreements. The participants mentioned ways and project proposals by which the town twinning agreement can bring the citizens closer to each other.

This was followed by a workshop where the participants were divided in mixed groups and every group was accompanied by a representative from the Local Councils. During the workshop the group leaders discussed with the participants their opinions on what makes a town twinning effective and how it can make an impact on society. The participants shared their ideas and experiences while they were made more aware of the significance of town twinning agreements and how their direct participation in such projects can have a positive effect not only on an individual but also on the community at large.

The last activity for the second day was the town twinning ceremony where the Mayors of Lagosanto and of Mgarr signed the town twinning agreement, signifying the beginning of a strong cooperation between the two localities. The ceremony was held at the Mgarr Local Council Hall and was also attended by a number of residents and members of different organizations from Mgarr.


09/04/2016: The third day of the project was focused on the European citizenship and Strategy 2020. The groups were divided into two groups, with those below the age of 30 years in one group and the rest in another group. Then each group discussed the values of the European Union, democracy, European elections and the future of Europe, and then the outcomes of the discussions were shared. The scope of this activity was to stimulate an intergenerational discussion and compare the views, which also resulted in creating more awareness on the values of the European Union.

Since both Mgarr and Lagosanto are predominantly rural communities, a presentation was held which focused more on the agricultural and rural development strategy of the European Union. The participants discussed how such policies are affecting them and shared their experiences.

A workshop followed where the participants discussed the theme of active citizenship and the future of Europe. The participants expressed their opinions on the measures and policies that Local and European authorities should take to engage more citizens in discussions and to be active within their community.

The group had the time to visit a number of historical sites in Mgarr and around Malta.

Also the Mgarr Youth Football Nursery organized a sports event which included the participation of a number of young members of the Football Nursery of Lagosanto.

One of the common features between Lagosanto and Mgarr is the cultivation of strawberries, and in fact both localities organise an annual event with the strawberry theme. For this reason the participants had to prepare for a stand which they were going to have during the Mgarr annual Strawberry festival which was held on the following day (10th of April), at the main square of the village.


10/04/2016: The participants of this project participated in the Mgarr Strawberry Festival, where with the assistance of the Maltese participants the delegation from Lagosanto showcased typical food of their area, including food made of strawberries. The general public asked the participants about the food presented by the Italian partners, but also about the their life in Lagosanto and about the town twinning experience.

The last activity of the project was an evaluation session held at the Mgarr Local Council Hall, where the participants gave their feedback about the activities which were organised throughout the project and what aspects of the project they had enjoyed the most and which other feastures they would change. The session ended with the participants planning to visit Lagosanto in May 2017.


11/04/2016:   Departure of the participants from Lagosanto.