The Croatian city of Rijeka and Galway in Ireland have been named joint European Capitals of Culture for 2020.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said: “The European Capital of Culture initiative brings people together and highlights the role of culture in promoting the values on which our European Union is built: diversity, respect, tolerance and openness. A successful Capital of Culture is inclusive and meaningful to its citizens. It is also open to the world, illustrating our Union’s willingness to promote culture as a driver for peace and mutual understanding worldwide whilst bringing long lasting socioeconomic benefits to its region. I very much look forward to visiting both Rijeka and Galway and wish them every success in 2020.”
Rijeka is Croatia’s first city to receive Capital of Culture Status. Its cultural programme will take the theme ‘Port of Diversity’, exploring the links between water, migration, work and identity; more than 250 projects from 40 countries are scheduled to take place. Galway is the third Irish city to become a Capital of Culture, following Dublin in 1991 and Cork in 2005; and will focus on the theme ‘Let the Magic In’. Projects will explore language, landscape and migration, all of which are both locally relevant and universally applicable.
Margaritis Schinas, the European Commission’s Vice President for Promoting our European Way of Life, said: “Thanks to their title of European Capital of Culture, Rijeka and Galway will be harnessing the full potential of culture to enrich our life experience and to bring our communities closer together. Promoting culture as a core element of our way of life has many positive impacts on society, in terms of social inclusion, integration and economic growth. It enables people to gain new experiences, skills and opportunities to participate in society and to make our societies fairer and more inclusive. I wish them every success in this endeavour.”