The large number of candidate countries running for the title of “European Capital of Culture 2021” proves the fact that there is awareness over culture being a tool for economic growth and development, says Romania’s Culture Minister Ionut Vulpescu about the finalisation of the submission and acceptance of bids from 14 Romanian cities.
“We are pleasantly surprised by the interest of the local administrations, the citizens of the cities that have filed a bid. The large number of candidate cities proves the success the initiative has in Romania, as well as the fact that cultural diversity plays a fundamental role in the European design. There is also a pragmatic side about the interest in culture: this way people become aware of the fact that culture is increasingly becoming a tool for economic growth, development and generating prosperity,” Vulpescu is quoted as saying in a press statement released on Friday by the Culture Ministry to Agerpres.
He says “the reaction of the citizens, the mobilisation of various organisations, their working together to draw up projects for each city, all are an asset for their future development.”
“The experiences now gained, the ideas promoted, the projects drawn up can be used to generate new cultural projects, which the Culture Ministry would be glad to support. I am convinced that the large number of bids will be followed by actual events in support of the projects of each community separately that will prove their seriousness,” said Vulpescu.
The ministry’s statement says the bids of Alba Iulia, Arad, Bacau, Baia Mare, Brasov, Braila, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iasi, Sfantu Gheorghe, Suceava, Timisoara, Targu Mures were received and approved. The eligibility of the bids were validated by experts of the European Commission.
The preselection meeting where the European jury shortlists the candidates is scheduled for December 7-10, 2015. In the first half of November, additional information will be released about the agenda of the meeting and the planning of the candidate cities presenting their bids.
The Culture Minister mentioned that he supported and continues to support equidistantly the bids of all the 14 cities and he will assist the winner of the competition to organise and carry out the schedule of events, projects and initiatives meant to bring actual substance to the status of the European Capital of Culture 2021.
At the same time, the Culture Ministry hails the initiative of the participating municipalities and the high degree of professionalism of the project teams that helped such a large number of city make it to the official competition. Such commitment, the ministry adds, is beneficial to culture and the local communities, while sending an important message, namely the engine value for development culture can have in the Romanian society.