The City of Ljubljana has recently announced its candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2025 (ECC 2025). The candidacy is a result of a signed Cooperation Agreement for a joint project in which 26 municipalities in the Ljubljana Urban Region are participating. Ljubljana decided for the joint regional collaboration as the among the 60 cities that have been awarded the ECC title since 1985, the most successful have been those that actively included their regions in the programme in order to connect the community. These cities were, for example, Essen ECC 2010 (The Ruhr region), Marseille ECC 2013 (the Provence region), Leeuwarden ECC 2018 (the Friesland region).
One of the commitments of the agreement is that if Ljubljana is chosen as the holder of the ECC Title 2025, one third of all events within the ECC 2025 cultural programme will take place outside of the City of Ljubljana, in the territories of other municipalities in the Ljubljana Urban Region. Regional cultural cooperation will also be one of the priorities of Municipality of Ljubljana’s cultural policy in the next strategic period 2020-2023, and joint candidacy presents and excellent opportunity to achieve the strategic development goals of the entire region.
Ljubljana’s Mayor Zoran Janković emphasized the great cooperation between municipalities in the Ljubljana Urban Region which shows that the Central Slovenia Region is connected in terms of existence and development. As the ECC is the major EU initiative in the field of culture, with a strong focus on development and breakthroughs which permanently enhance the quality of life in the region, the project will have a positive result on the whole region.
Besides culture, other areas closely connected to culture will also benefit from the project and their development will be positively impacted. Namely, not just artistic and cultural projects, but a wide range of fields with which culture is connected one way or another, like science, education, social, environment, economy, tourism, etc. ECC additionally provides the cities and regions with a lasting legacy in the form of new or renewed cultural infrastructure, improved international visibility and similar. The ECC period is defined as a project running between 2021 and 2026.