RIJEKA2020 LLC signed a cooperation agreement today with 19 cities and municipalities in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County regarding programming within the scope of the largest national cultural project – European Capital of Culture 2020.

This act formalises the relationship between RIJEKA2020 LLC, the City of Rijeka which bears the ECoC title, and the cities and municipalities across the county which expressed interest in joining the project implementation. These are Bakar, Rab, Delnice, Krk, Opatija, Mali Lošinj, Novi Vinodolski, Crikvenica, Cres, Kastav, Lovran, Vrbrnik, Matulji, Mošćenička Draga, Jelenje, Fužine, Kostrena, Čavle and Malinska-Dubašnica.

The contract defines the collaboration on two ECoC flagships – 27 Neighbourhoods and Lungomare. According to RIJEKA2020 CEO Emina Višnić, the contract does not in any way exclude collaboration on other ECoC flagships or programmes.

Vojko Obersnel, mayor of the City of Rijeka, stated that the often emphasised significance of the ECoC title for the whole region is not merely a phrase. The unity between a large number of partners constitutes the essence of the project from its very beginning.

“This is a great opportunity for Europe to see our cultural and social heritage, what we are doing and what we will do, but also to improve our infrastructure, the quality of the personnel in the cultural sector, cooperation of the culture sector with other sectors, and our international visibility in terms of economy and other types of business activities”, said Mayor Obersnel.

He added that Croatia presiding over the European Union in 2020 presents an additional opportunity to promote Rijeka and the region: “We are currently discussing the possibility of hosting certain events in Rijeka related to Croatia presiding over the EU with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.”

Emina Višnić, CEO of RIJEKA2020 LLC, stated that the European Capital of Culture project has an interconnected European, national and regional component so cooperation with units of local self-government is natural in that regard. “The City of Rijeka shares the ECoC title with its partners – the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county, the University of Rijeka, neighbouring cities and municipalities and cultural institutions and associations. The goal of RIJEKA2020 is to include as many partners as possible, because that is the only way to leave a lasting legacy in the area.”

Kristijan Jurjako, the mayor of Cres, spoke on behalf of the partner cities and municipalities, congratulating Rijeka on winning the title and expressing content that Rijeka and the county got this opportunity to strengthen the cultural sector. “We support the European Capital of Culture project in every sense and believe in its success, and Rijeka will present itself in the best possible light in 2020.”

Zlatko Komadina, County President, mentioned that Rijeka has a specific culture and cultural heritage, and pointed out that that cities and municipalities across the county will add a regional tone to the project and that cultural events held throughout the county will create and strengthen the cultural-artistic network. He added that a lot of work, effort and money was invested in the project, and that only by working together in creating and promoting culture can we achieve the desired result – creating a quality tourist product.

In addition to the Mayor of Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County President, CEO of RIJEKA2020 LLC, and the representatives of the 19 cities and counties, the attendees included Deputy Mayors of Rijeka Marko Filipović and Nikola Ivaniš, Head of the City of Rijeka Department of Culture Ivan Šarar, and Head of the Administrative Department of Culture, Sports and Technical Culture Valerij Jurešić.