Over the last 50 years Birmingham has developed special relationships with a number of cities in Europe and beyond.
With the ending of World War II there emerged a European “Twinning” movement intended to bring large numbers of people together as a way of promoting harmony and peace between former warring countries. These relationships have brought together villages, towns and cities around culture, community, sport and other activities. Where active they have served a useful means of bringing together people of different backgrounds and countries in meaningful collaboration.
From the “Twinning” movement many large towns and cities, like Birmingham, sought to develop more purposeful relationships where practical benefits would result through learning and working together on common issues or difficulties. These predominantly large cities became formal “Partners” or “Sisters” as in the North American model.
Birmingham consequently formed a series of European and international Partnerships. Whilst different in emphasis they all sought to increase the social and economic well being of people and organisations within and between specific Partner cities. Those relationships now focus on meaningful education, business, culture, sport and community joint work.
Birmingham has six partner or sister cities. They are Chicago (USA), Frankfurt and Leipzig (former East and West Germany), Johannesburg (South Africa), Lyon (France) and Milan (Italy). There is also a Treaty of Friendship between Birmingham and Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan from where about 90,000 Birmingham citizens originate.
For more information about international links in general, please contact Mike Murray on +44 (0)121 303 4452