International Relations

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Dublin City Council established an International Relations Unit in 2007 to lead, facilitate and promote international links and relations that benefit the city, its economy, its education and research capacity and its communities.   As a capital city, Dublin has a responsibility to provide leadership and example, nationally and internationally.   Increasingly the role of city government is about facilitating and enabling stakeholders in the city to succeed in their respective fields of engagement at business, education or community level.   In collaboration with multiple stakeholders, the International Relations Office helps Dublin position itself globally as an international gateway for Ireland and Europe.

The purpose of the International Relations Unit is to:

  • Promote Dublin globally
  • Enhance its reputation and capacity to attract investment
  • Expand business opportunity
  • Attract students and researchers
  • Attract tourists and business conferences
  • Extend its cultural ties and reach
  • Ensure influence on major environmental, justice and social challenges facing the city

The following policies are adopted to ensure effective international relations:

  • Focus international relations resources where DCC has a distinct role and can make a difference
  • Partner with local, regional, national and international organizations
  • Engage with stakeholders and work with them to deliver activities

Activities to deliver policy:

  • Bi-lateral city to city relationships (twinning/friendship/co-operation agreements)
  • Multi-lateral relationships with organizations of common purpose (Eurocities etc.)
  • Economic partnerships (Start Up Commissioner, IDA, EI etc.)
  • Networks of learning, international best practice (staff exchanges)
  • Managing programmes for international delegations visiting Dublin
  • Supporting business tourism (conferences etc.)
  • City promotion and global marketing
  • Providing advice, speech material and policy drafts on international matters. 

Bi-Lateral Relationships


This involves a formal commitment by both cities to each other.   It is accompanied by a formal contract of activity which requires Council approval.

Dublin is currently twinned with:

  • San José (1986)
  • Liverpool (1997)
  • Barcelona (1998, Addendum in 2009 for 2 years)
  • Beijing (2011)

Friendship/Co-Operation Agreements

A friendship agreement involves a less formal commitment between two or more cities.

Dublin currently has the following agreements:

  • Tbilisi, Georgia 10th December 2014 to 10th December 2017
  • Mexico City 2014 for 4 years
  • Guadalajara (Mexico) 22nd March 2013 – no time limit
  • Moscow 20th March 2009 – no time limit but now proposing a new Co-Operation Agenda for 2017 to 2019
  • St. Petersburg 28th September 2010 – no time limit but now proposing a new Road Map for 2017 to 2020
  • Wuhan (China) 5th September 2016 for 3 years.

International Delegations

The International Relations Unit organizes and manages a large number of major delegations to Dublin.   Requests come from other cities, Irish and other embassies, national governments.   They provide an opportunity to promote Dublin and to learn from other cities.   Prospective delegations are asked to please contact Civic Delegations Officer: Fiona Healy Tel. 2225084

Membership of International Networks

Dublin city is also a member of many International networks opening new possibilities for cooperation, investment and partnerships.

EU Projects /Funding
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available from 2014 to 2020. Dublin City Council participates in many EU funded research projects in the areas of sustainability, city regeneration, Smart Cities, ICT, transportation etc.

Promoting Business Tourism

Dublin was the 18th top international destination for conferences and conventions in 2015.  
Bringing in international conferences helps position Dublin globally as a gateway for Ireland and Europe.  
It helps promote the city and the region, it helps support the tourism, hotel and hospitality sector in
the city and it allows us build contracts for future project collaboration.

Office of International Relations:

For more information

Dublin City Council
International Relations Unit
Culture, Recreation and Economic Services
3 Palace Street
Dublin 2
Eircode: D02 T277


Tel: +353 (0)1 222 3192