Walincourt-Selvigny - Verein zur Förderung der Städtepartnerschaft

Verein zur Förderung der Städtepartnerschaften der Stadt Selm e.V. - Walincourt-Selvigny - Verein zur Förderung der Städtepartnerschaft


Walincourt-Selvigny and the association of 10 municipalities

In northern France, in the department of Hauts-de-France, 60 km south of Lille, about 35 km from the Belgian border and 430 km from Selm, lie the villages of the Walincourt-Selvigny association of municipalities.

When Walincourt-Selvigny is called "the twin town", it is an abbreviation for an administrative association of 10 municipalities around the Collège.

With about 2600 inhabitants, Walincourt is the main town of the association and its mayor is also the association's president. The association also includes the towns of Ligny, Villers-Outréaux, Caullery, Elincourt, Clary, Esnes, Malincourt, Maretz and Déheries, which with 41 inhabitants is one of the smallest municipalities in France.

The landscape, called the Cambrésis after the city of Cambrai 15 km away, has similarities with the Münsterland: Slightly hilly fertile farmland, pastures and small villages with natural stone houses characterise the landscape. The importance of the region in the traditional production of lace and broderie
is still evident today in the huge costume figure of Pénélope, which is regularly brought to Selm by members of the associated costume group.
The town twinning between Selm and Walincourt-Selvigny has existed for more than 30 years.
The idea of Franco-German friendship, agreed 60 years ago in the Elysée Treaty, is lived and consolidated in associations and the town council in many mutual visits and joint projects.


The partnership between Selm and Walincourt-Selvigny began with the new Collège François Villon in Walincourt-Selvigny and its headmaster. At that time, the headmaster was looking for exchange opportunities for his pupils who were learning German. But the development of Franco-German friendship was also close to his heart. So in 1989, he started looking for a partner school through official channels.

The former headmaster of the Otto-Hahn-Realschule Selm did the same. Out of several French schools, he chose the one least far away, namely Walincourt-Selvigny in northern France. An initial telephone contact with the French headmaster set the partnership in motion.

After an first meeting of the specialized teachers and headmasters, the first student exchange took place in 1990. The good cooperation quickly led to the idea of a town twinning.

As the Collège in France is supported by 11 municipalities, it was also this association of municipalities that sought a partnership with the town of Selm. During the first official contacts in 1991, hosts and guests quickly became closer. The French had already brought along a draft for the partnership agreement.The friendly atmosphere at a singing competition in the Kreuzkamp hall in Selm, which the French won, was said to be the deciding factor.

On 22 March 1992, Mayor Inge Hamann and City Director Dr. Wegener as well as Mayor and Association President Daniel Fiévet solemnly signed the partnership deed in the ballroom of the municipality of Villers-Outréaux.

In recent years, a lively friendship has developed with visits several times a year, memorable anniversaries and exchanges of musicians, painters, sports clubs and friends.