Water, work and migration. These themes are connected to the identity of Rijeka, but they are also current in the wider European environment. The themes are mutually entwined and create a port of diversity. The values which are woven into the programme’s conception and which are reflected in the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture programme are courage, unusualness, progressiveness and ambition.


Rijeka is a city characterised by water and is named after it – “rijeka” means “river.” The city which flows. And whoever drinks Rijeka water once, straight from the tap and enjoys its excellent taste, will return to Rijeka. Our water also falls in abundance from the sky. Rijeka has often found itself at the top of the list of the rainiest places in the world. In the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture programme water relates to biological diversity, as well as broader ecological issues. How do we live on water and by the sea? What do we have to change in order that we preserve our natural environment for the future? What are all the new economies developing in the sea and around it? What does sustainable tourism mean today?


Work is a basic human right. New forms of work in the age of new technologies and industries are important issues for the future of Europe. What is post-industrial work and what are the perspectives for work in the future? Will we still work eight hours a day, five days a week, despite the technology that we have, or it is time for changes? What new forms of work do new global economies produce? What is intangible work and in what way is it present and what are the cultural and creative industries involved in it? Where are the boundaries between the work of man and the work that in place of man is carried out increasingly by robots and artificial intelligence, and for whose benefit?


Migrations in the historical and current context refer to the large migrations of populations, as well as mobility in general, nomadism and global exchange and collaboration. Rijeka is a city of migrations. A city of arrivals and departures. A city of interwoven cultures, and also a city of tolerance. For the future of Europe, as well as of Rijeka, the changes in the population are huge because of greater mobility and the need for the change of living environment for varying reasons. How ready are we really to accept other and different people? How do we deal with different identities? Do we know how to appreciate the richness of diversity?