The members of the Panel of independent experts of European Commission decided at a meeting in Brussels the City of Novi Sad will be the European capital of culture in 2021. Apart from Novi Sad, Herceg Novi, candidate of Montenegro was also shortlisted for this prestigious title awarded to cities from candidate countries of the European Union.
The programme concept of selecting candidates consists of four fields under the joint name “For New Bridges”.
The bridge “Freedom” encompasses creative industries and youth, while the “Hope” bridge is dedicated to cultural capacities and public spaces. The programme “New Bridge” puts emphasis on cultural heritage and hospitality, and the fourth bridge “Rainbow” deals with topics of conflicts and migrations.
The initiative of proclaiming the European Capitals of Culture, started in 1985 by then the Greek Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, developed to be one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and became one of the most recognisable activities of the European Union.
The original motivation of the project is more relevant than ever and aimed at establishing a space for Europeans where they can exchange and learn about each other’s cultures, enter into intercultural dialogue and mutually nurture their shared history and values. The initiative is now open to cities in candidate countries for EU membership every third year as of 2021. Novi Sad will be in the spotlight in 2021 along with the city of Timisoara in Romania and a city in Greece that will be selected out of the three shortlisted cities (Elefsina, Kalamata and Rhodes).
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “I am very pleased that in 2021 we will have our first European Capital of Culture in a candidate country. The opening of this prestigious European programme to those countries seeking full membership is a way to bring them closer to and reinforce their cultural links with the Union. I congratulate Novi Sad!
I am sure that Novi Sad will give visitors from all over the world the opportunity to discover the city and its cultural assets, but also to appreciate the diversity of cultures in Europe as well as our shared values.
I am confident that the title will bring Novi Sad significant long-term cultural, as well as economic and social benefits, as we have seen with many previous European Capitals of Culture.”