Novi Sad hosted one of the leading persons in the implementation of the Year of European Cultural Heritage, Mr Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. When the leading person of European culture visits the gala opening of the European Capital of Culture, it is a great endeavour for the city. Visit to Novi Sad and firm support of European Commissioner Mr Navracsics for the preparation for the European Capital of Culture in 2021 is even more important since it confirms that results are already visible, even two years before winning this prestigious title.
The fact that Mr Navracsics is in Novi Sad for the first time proves that Novi Sad is important city on the European cultural map. He had a meeting with decision makers of Novi Sad. He met with Mr Miloš Vučević, the Mayor of Novi Sad, Ms Dragana Milošević, Provincial Secretary for Culture, Public Information and Relations with Religious Communities, Mr Dalibor Rožić, member of the City Council in charge of culture, as well as Ms Tijana Palkovljević Bugarski, Chairperson of the Steering Committee and Mr Nemanja Milenković, CEO of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation. Mr Vuk Radulović, Head of the Department for International Relations, presented results and projects which promote and encourage the preservation of rich cultural heritage in Novi Sad and future plans of the ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ project.
During the press-conference, European Commissioner Navracsics said: ‘The fact that Novi Sad 2021 will be the European Capital of Culture is significant for Serbia, but for the citizens of the European Union as well, since Novi Sad will be given the opportunity to be the part of the European Union and successfully mark all values which the EU has itself. After the meeting, I can confirm that authorities at all levels, as well as the team of the Foundation, willingly accepted this huge project. They convinced me that they did it, but that they are still doing their best in order to implement the project to the end in the best possible way. As a citizen of Hungary, neighbourhood country, I hope I will have a chance to enjoy programmes in 2021 which will be spectacular for Novi Sad, Serbia and European Union as well’.
Leading up to the two years of the title of the European Capital of Culture, the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation organised the ‘To Europe, as Legacy’ conference and joins the Pan-European initiative commemorating the Year of Cultural Heritage.
Two-day conference hosted Ms Sneška Quaedvlieg Mihailović, Secretary General of the Europa Nostra organisation, the leading organisation which promotes cultural and natural heritage of Europe and represents the ‘voice of all people who believe that the cultural heritage is the base for economy, society, culture, environment and benefits for the future of Europe’.
Six cities in the region that will hold the title of the European Capital of Culture will mark next three years: Matera and Plovdiv 2019, Rijeka 2020 and Timişoara, Eleusis and Novi Sad 2021. The decision of these two high representatives of the EU to visit exclusively Novi Sad is the confirmation of support to successful and good work on the implementation of the ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ project.