Agen. Towards a renewal of the twinning with Dinslaken?

the essential The city of Agen welcomed this week the German delegation from Dinslaken, headed by the new mayor of the city, the opportunity to discuss the future of this friendship which has been going on since 1975.

When Agen decided to move closer to Dinslaken, an industrial town in the Rhineland in 1975, she still had the memory of the war in mind. “The peace which unites us is too precious to leave it in the sole hands of national governments”, as the mayor of Agen Jean Dionis assures it, during a speech in honor of the German delegation, visiting in the Lot-et-Garonne. Thousands of small links have been forged between French cities and their neighbors across the Rhine.

More than 45 years later, the phantom of war is far away, and the twinning committees are not getting any younger, a report drawn up by Jean-Marie Nkollo, the deputy in charge of twinning. So, by mutual Franco-German agreement, Jean Dionis and his counterpart from Dinslaken expressed their wish to write a new page in this binational history. Sport is a planned axis, in fact, Michaela Eislöffel, the new mayor of Dinslaken, elected in September 2020, is a former athlete. For her, this is how young people can take an interest in twinning again. “Michaela had a very interesting idea to exchange skateparks,” says Jean Dionis. The two mayors have thus made a commitment to draw up a project and to allocate new portfolios to the twinning, within a month.

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Surrounded by Arne Alle, Thomas Pieperhoff and Melanie Quenhorst, accustomed to stays in Agen, Michaela Eislöffel was able to discover the Lot-et-Garonnaise prefecture. Guided tour of the city center, Fatoumata Diawara concert and SUA match, the delegation was able to discover, over 5 days, a summary of the Agen region. “We welcome each other to share what is best in Agen, and in Dinslaken”, assures Jean Dionis, an attention which seems to have touched Michaela Eislöffel. In sometimes clumsy French, Arne Allee thus expressed “the very good emotions felt towards the Agen delegation”.

And the health crisis did not get the better of this Franco-German friendship. “The corona has held us back, but no virus can stop our friendship,” says the mayor of Dinslaken. A convinced European, she told, at the microphone, in the Salle des Illustres on the occasion of the reception given for her municipality, to have become aware of the importance of the Franco-German agreement from an early age. “I realized, at 17 years, the importance of building bridges to overcome our injuries,” she says. Today, the challenge for elected officials and twinning committees is to rejuvenate these links. “We want the next generation, the youth!”, As Jean-Marie Nkollo slips, recalling that the municipality is only there to “write the score, it is then the twinning committees that play the music”

The choir, the link during the Covid

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