The bid book with which Rijeka will be competing for the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture has been published


This book was submitted on 10 February to the Ministry of Culture and the European Commission, which will decide which city will win the title of European Capital of Culture 2020. The other candidate cities – Osijek, Dubrovnik and Pula – completed and submitted their books by the same date.

These bid books were created based on the evaluations and recommendations of an independent European Commission which, in June last year, decided that these four cities would enter the final selection, i.e. second round, based on their applications.

Winning the title of European Capital of Culture is not merely a symbolic feat, but something that involves the implementation of an entire array of programmes and projects that could have a significant impact on the cultural life of our city.

Up to 24 March, when the decision on the winner of ECoC is expected, Rijeka will be hosting the Evaluation Commission and giving a verbal presentation on its candidacy before the Commission in Zagreb.


The bid book itself, which will soon also be available in Croatian, is 100 pages long and consists of seven chapters that describe the cultural and historical profile of Rijeka and the region, while stating the reasons for Rijeka’s candidacy and why the city needs this title.

In addition, the book describes the connection between this project and the long-term strategies of the City of Rijeka and its project partners, the Primorje – Gorski Kotar County, the University of Rijeka and the City of Opatija.

The European dimension of the project, which is evident from the numerous European partnerships that have been concluded for the purpose of cooperation on the Ri:2020 project, has been confirmed. With this book, Rijeka has proven that it is capable of implementing the ECoC 2020 project in its entirety when it comes to infrastructure, tourist accommodation and transport routes in the city and county, while also presenting a project management plan for the period up to 2021.

Cultural programme of the “Port of Diversity”

The greatest part of the bid book is dedicated to the cultural and artistic content of the project. The umbrella under which Rijeka will be offering its programme for the period between 2016 and 2021 is the motto ?Port of Diversity?, while the programme itself consists of three main concepts devoted to Work, Water and Migration, rounded off with seven thematic lines.

In addition to a well-conceived cultural and artistic programme, an ambitious project for developing human resources and civil initiatives has also been envisioned and described in the same chapter of the book.

Rijeka’s bid book for the second round of the competition for European Capital of Culture 2020 is the result of the cooperation of numerous cultural workers from Rijeka with partners from an international network of cooperation. This is its greatest strength.

However, the bid book and the possibility of winning in the second round, which is what every city is hoping for, represent but an introduction to a very serious and time-consuming project that can only be executed through sincere dialogue and the establishment of numerous partnerships and networks.

Thus, at the present moment, the publication of Rijeka’s bid book (in the form it was submitted to the Commission) is not just about satisfying general curiosity but, more importantly, about the rights of partners, citizens and  the media to have this material available to them, as it belongs to us all.

The book will soon also be available in Croatian and will, in this sense, represent an invitation to all citizens to read it and find a place for themselves in the Rijeka ECoC 2020 project.

Common vision

All of the members of the extensive team working on Rijeka’s candidacy for ECoC constantly emphasise the importance of involving the community at large.

The title of European Capital of Culture offers each of the cities, and thus also Rijeka, the opportunity to make its ambitions come true, to inspire a new enthusiasm and to additionally open itself to the world, and also to prove its own abilities. Rijeka believes that it is capable of all of this and more, and with a good reason.

Click on the link to download the book in the PDF format (11 MB).