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                                                                                                                           Photo. MTK/Dagmar Schwelle

Ein Lagebericht aus Konstanz

Please click on the following link to hear about the latest position regarding the coronavirus in Konstanz from the Oberbürgermeister, Uli Burchardt.

Latest position

An appeal for help for the Red Cross in Lodi

Lodi, in northern Italy, is twinned with both Konstanz & Fontainebleau. It lies at the heart of the current coronavirus epidemic. The health service has been overwhelmed & Konstanz Council have issued a desperate appeal for help for the Red Cross in its twin town. For further information (in German) please click on the following link.

Lodi appeal.

REA has already made a donation to the appeal. If you too would like to contribute you can transfer your donation directly to the Red Cross in Lodi. (The details are on the link). Alternatively you can forward your donation to REA & we shall pass it on. Our bank details are as follows.

Sort Code 20-45-45

Acc. No. 20137030

Please use the reference  LODI

Konstanz aus der Vogelperspektive

Konstanz_Hoernle © Achim Mende_7335
Konstanz from above. The old town lies to the left of the Rhine. The university overlooks the garden island of Mainau on the right. The island of Reichenau can be seen in the background.  Photo: Achim Mende

Our chairman came across this stunning bird’s eye view of Konstanz during his recent visit. Permission was sought from the photographer, Achim Mende, to use it on the two new information boards which are being installed in Richmond to celebrate the reaffirmation. Despite the postponement of the event it is hoped that the boards will still be installed this year.

Reaffirmation Postponed

19th March 2020. Richmond Council has announced that the reaffirmation of the twinning, which had been due to take place in Richmond in June of this year, has had to be postponed because of the current health crisis. A statement has been issued by the council leader, & REA member, Gareth Roberts.

“It is with great regret that I announce the postponement of the ‘Celebrating France & Germany’ event which was to mark the re-affirmation of Richmond upon Thames’ twinning agreement with our partner towns of Konstanz, Germany & Fontainebleau, France. This was to be marked in spectacular style across the weekend of 26th-28th June 2020, with the people of Richmond celebrating alongside visitors from our partnering towns, everything from flag throwing to youth orchestras. The current restrictions on travel & public gatherings, due to the coronavirus emergency, mean we cannot plan with certainty that our communities will be able to come together and take part in this weekend festival.

Mayor's tea party 2
Councillor Roberts (right) with the reaffirmation poster competition winners Selim Bener (centre) & Clara de Sancha (left)

The re-affirmation takes place every five years. This was Richmond upon Thames’ turn to host the celebrations & to make a clear statement about our support to our European partners. In turn Fontainebleau & Konstanz re-affirm their commitment to each other, & both to Lodi in Italy, and in turn Fontainebleau with Sintra, Portugal & Konstanz with Tabor, Czech Republic. So it is a truly European affair which means it is postponed with a very heavy heart.

My thanks go to all the very many people who have worked to set up the re-affirmation weekend, some endlessly for over two years, this includes the hard work of local community group, the Richmond in Europe Association, and their French counterparts, ARCIF, as well as the dedication of council officers across the three partnering organisations. It is also disappointing that the postponement means that we will not be able to include our much loved partners from the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, who will soon move from their base in our borough. The re-affirmation would have co-incided with marking their Freedom of the Borough to parade through our streets, joining our partners from across Europe. This would have also jointly marked Armed Forces Day.

We will work with our community & our partners across Europe to formally mark the re-affirmation of our twinning agreement at a later date, likely to be in 2021. We don’t need the formality of signing a re-affirmation to state our continued allegiance with our European partners & we send our best wishes to the communities across the twin towns & hope that all stay safe & strong during the current crisis we are each experiencing.

Councillor Gareth Roberts                  19th March 2020


A Royal Visit to York House

duke & Duchess of York
The Duke & Duchess of York with their daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, in 1926.

REA committee member, Anthony Bailey, recently drew our attention to archive footage of the Queen’s parents, the future King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, visiting the town hall in Twickenham in 1926. They are accompanied by King Manuel II of Portugal who was living in exile in Twickenham.

A one minute film of the visit.

For more information about King Manuel’s links with Twickenham and The Portuguese Appeal, a new local charity fostering Richmond’s ties with Portugal, please click on the following link.

King Manuel 

Our New Patrons

Uli Burchardt (left) with the REA chairman in the town hall in Konstanz.

February 2020.  REA has two new patrons. Both the Mayor of Fontainebleau & the Oberbürgermeister of Konstanz have agreed to become joint patrons of the Richmond in Europe Association. (The mayor of Richmond has always been our President.)

In his letter of acceptance Oberbürgermeister Uli Burchardt wrote that he was pleased to accept the position of patron as a visible sign of the bonds between the towns. His acceptance was confirmed in a brief ceremony in the town hall in Konstanz.

It is hoped that a similar ceremony can be arranged with the mayor of Fontainebleau in the near future.

The REA letterhead will now be amended to reflect the triple endorsement of the three mayors. Their support will also confirm the intention of all three towns to maintain & strengthen the ties between us.

Das Europakonzil 2021

Europakonzil der Konzilstadt
The 2017 Europakonzil

Following the success of the award-winning inaugural Europakonzil, which took place in Konstanz in 2017, we are delighted to announce that the next one will take place in Konstanz from 11th-15th April 2021. The Konzil promotes the benefits of European co-operation. The theme for next year’s event is Climate Protection.

Oberbürgermeister Uli Berchardt (back row left) with delegates & representatives from the 5 nations in Konstanz

As before we hope to send a youth delegation from Richmond to join those from Fontainebleau, Tabor, Lodi & Konstanz. Last time over 100 delegates from the 5 nations participated. So successful was the Konzil that it was nominated for two awards in Germany & won prize money totalling €1250.


Press report on award

Anja Deschler

For further information please contact Anja Deschler