Agora cities and the race for the European Capital of Culture

The end of this year is drawing near and we can see that cultural diversity has been a timely topic on the public agenda. Cluj-Napoca has been this year the European Youth Capital, and the competition for the European Capital of Culture in 2021 is ongoing, with 13 cities already enrolled.

The competition for 2021 is held between Romania and Greece – a city from one of the two countries will have the chance to be elected as European Capital and to respond best to the motto “unity in diversity”. Each city exhibits its unique and valuable things in the cultural, social, economic, touristic field, or anything that could make a difference towards the other candidate.

We are pleased to see that three of the candidate cities are the ones selected for the project Agora Cultural @ Your Library: Bucharest, Braila and Cluj-Napoca, in addition to Sibiu, that had already been European Capital of Culture in 2007. Cluj-Napoca embarked in the competition with the credo “Culture transforms the city”, Bucharest embraced the topic “Memory | Exploring | Imagining the City”, while Braila, although has not yet brought its strategy into the open, has every reason to put up, given the mosaic of cultures but also its heaped history.

Other cities, such as Targu Mures, chose to make a campaign in the 5 languages spoken by the ethnic communities that form the landscape of the county. Craiova was among the first cities that have announced their candidacy. Timisoara boasts the most diversified cultural life, being the only city in the country with four theaters in four languages.

The city designated as European Capital will be announced in 2016. But until then we believe that the discussions about the cultural diversity in Romania should not be in vain, on the contrary they should make the Romanians aware and enjoy the chance they have to live day by day in a diverse and rich cultural world.

Cultural Agora @ Your Library is a project implemented by ANBPR in affiliation with Jazzmontor AS Norvegia and REPLIKA Cultural Association, financed through the SEE 2009-2014 Grants, the PA17/RO13 Programme “The Promotion of diversity of culture and art within the European heritage” ( in Romania. 

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