As of 1 January 2020, Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland) hold the title of European Capital of Culture for one year.
Yet SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and the measures adopted for prevention and limiting its spread all around the globe had a devastating effect on big part of the programme of the two ECoCs this year. Activities and teams were reduced and a big part of the projects was, where possible, meeting their audiences digitally or postponed for the end of 2020 and 2021.
The European Commission and the chosen cities for ECoCs in 2021 and 2022 are in conversations and agreements on how to combine and extend periods in order to have a possibility for implementation of the events and projects.
Culture is a priority and is one of the bases for the existence and development of our societies, this in this particular crises period had been yet once again visible.
"In response to letters sent to the European Commission by the cities of Timisoara, Elefsina, Novi Sad, Rijeka and Galway, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and Vice-President Margaritis Schinas decided to submit to the College of Commissioners a Commission proposal amending Decision 445/2014 governing the Capital Action European Commission for Culture to allow the extension of the two European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) 2020 until April 2021 (without changing the designation year) and the postponement of Novi Sad 2021 in 2022 and of Timișoara 2021 and Elefsina 2021 in 2023”, said Simona Neumann, CEO/ Executive Director, Timisoara European Capital of Culture 2021. Consultations will take place at European Commission level by the end of July, and the proposal will be adopted by the Commission in mid-August. Further on, the Commission will present this decision to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and it could be adopted at the earliest in October.
You can see here how Rijeka and Galway commenced the year and what are the highlights in their programmes here.