19 According to my research, at the end of 2001, there were at least 2,153 active partnership relationships between 734 Polish local governments and foreign partners. Foreign twin cities came mainly from European countries (95.8%). Most of the partners came from Western Europe (53.1%), mainly from Germany, France and the Netherlands. Central European partners (19.3%, mainly the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) followed. Links between Polish communities and Austria and Switzerland have also been weak, although these countries are holiday destinations for many Poles and, in the case of Austria, including employment. There was also less contact with communities in Eastern Europe (former Soviet Union and Romania), at 11.8%. Partners from Ukraine, Lithuania and Russia dominated the group. There have also been some insignificant contacts with Scandinavian countries (mainly Denmark and Sweden). The Polish local authorities have the least relations with the Mediterranean countries (mainly Italy and Spain).
City twinning is increasingly being used to establish strategic international trade relationships. For example, in the 1990s, when Nottingham City Council in Great Britain considered installing a tram network, Nottingham City Council consulted experts from its twin town, Karlsruhe, which has one of Germany`s largest and most efficient tram networks. With the help of specialist engineers in Karlsruhe, Nottingham completed the second tram line in 2013.  In 2014, Bristol and New Orleans, at the initiative of Bristol Mayor George Ferguson, announced their intention to create a tuning partnership based on a common musical heritage and a common cultural offering.  Annecy, France and Nerima, Tokyo, have for several years shared a partnership based on their “co-existing animation industry”.   44Sothsles highlight the important role of national minorities and immigrant communities in establishing formal international relations between local authorities. These communities intend to maintain contact with their main cultural areas or place of origin. The role of these factors was mentioned by J. Zupanié (2001), who described the example of Slovenian minorities in neighbouring countries and national minorities with regard to Slovenia`s neighbouring countries.
Similarly, S. Weber (1996) mentioned the collaboration of Portuguese cities with municipalities located in the regions of Paris, Lorraine and the North-West Industrial Region, which include all the major groups of Portuguese immigrants, and Mr. Laurent (1991) cited examples of immigrant participation in the creation of Franco-Polish partnerships.