All areas of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County will be evenly included in 27 Neighbourhoods – islands, the coast, the hinterlands, the highlands and the city of Rijeka. The selected neighbourhoods, cities, towns, villages and other areas will take part in international partnerships, participate in neighbourhood festivals, and host European Capital of Culture programmes. 27 Neighbourhoods provides multiple opportunities for establishing exchange programmes spanning the entire European Union, thus creating and informal cultural activity network between neighbourhoods that will last beyond 2020.
The neighbourhoods in Rijeka and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County lack local cultural centres and developed models for citizens. They are still not ready to receive unexpected boosts, to share with other European neighbourhoods that might be distant, but face similar challenges. Therefore the goal of 27 Neighbourhoods is to strengthen local communities by strengthening human resources, developing interpersonal relationships, organising cultural activities and increasing cultural contents.
Impulse: The European Union has expanded rapidly over the years and now includes 28 member-states with Croatia as the latest addition. The challenges and efforts of integration are obvious. Developing the assumed European identity has turned out to be more complex than it seemed. Europe is facing increasing difficulty in dealing with different cultures, traditions and habits.
Has the EU reached its limits and lost its ability to deal with the differences? Can neighbourhoods, as basic social units of urban and rural areas, overcome these limitations and establish a network of relationships and cultural gatherings with other European neighbourhoods? We think so – with effort and cooperation Europe can build a new identity based on local and regional initiatives. Neighbourhoods are where cultural cooperation and participation are achieved to their maximum. Taking care of transnational and local identities is what defines the term inter/local. We lay out this challenge for ourselves, our neighbourhoods and our neighbours across Europe.