Lord Mayor of Oxford Craig Simmons will travel across Europe from February 26th to March 3rd in order to coordinate carbon emission reduction initiatives and address post-Brexit relationships with Oxford’s twin cities. 

This trip was scheduled as part of the Mayor’s commitment to a year of low-carbon initiatives, according to the Oxford City Council. During the trip, he will coordinate with these nations to synchronise plans to combat climate change within each of their cities and to spread messages of friendship and commitment to the international community in the wake of Brexit. 

Originally scheduled to occur during 2019, the trip was rescheduled to follow the Brexit decision. The new date will allow the Mayor to talk to representatives from each city about how to foster long-term relationships as the UK leaves the European Union.

The Mayor released a statement that affirmed the city’s commitment to invigorating Oxford’s connections in Europe, which emphasised that Oxford is a deeply international city.

Simmons said: “We’ve enjoyed cultural exchanges as well as exchange of knowledge and expertise with our twin cities, and my message is that we value that more than ever as we leave the EU and build a new international status.” 

Oxford’s twin cities include Bonn, Germany; Grenoble, France; Leiden, Netherlands; Padua, Italy; and Wroclaw, Poland. Links to these European cities provide Oxford international economic and cultural connection and enrichment from diverse regions across the continent. 

In the wake of the three tumultuous years leading up to the Brexit decision, the Oxford city council launched a social media campaign, #WeAreOxford, last week. This campaign’s purpose is to reinforce Oxford’s ties to the rest of Europe and to solidify Oxford’s commitment to building a strong, diverse, and optimistic international community. 

The campaign has been allotted £35,000, which will be invested in activities and initiatives that invigorate Oxford’s diverse community.

As part of #WeAreOxford, the city council has plans to host a celebratory event focused on Oxford’s relationship with its twin cities later this year, with aims to further community and business links between cities.

The Mayor emphasised that he seeks to enhance the relationships between Oxford and its twin cities with messages of friendship. 

In his public statement, he encouraged Oxford residents interested in sending their own messages to email civicoffice@oxford.gov.uk with messages of support and requests to build business links in the twin cities.