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Lille [France]

www.lille.fr

With almost 230,000 inhabitants, Lille is one of the fifteen biggest cities in France, and the administrative centre of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region that borders Belgium. Lille-Métropole, the name of the conurbation's urban community, has a population of 1.2 million with the towns of Roubaix, Tourcoing and Villeneuve-d’Ascq.

Lille is a city with a tradition of armed resistance (to which the fortifications built by Vauban pay witness) and major industries (textile). It boasts a rich cultural scene (thanks to its Fine Arts Museum, the 2nd biggest in France and its traditional jumble sale in September).

Its transport infrastructure (the 3rd biggest river port after Paris and Strasbourg, the Lille-Flandre and Lille-Europe HSR stations as well as motorway crossroads) contribute to it being a modern economic and cultural centre (illustrated by the Euralille business centre and its year as European Capital of Culture in 2004).

Liège and Lille

Twinned in 1958, when the Treaties of Rome were signed by the founders of the European Community, the relations between Liège and Lille have mainly focused on citizen and youth exchanges (Hellemmes football tournament, the LEILA project, etc.).