The tender is announced

State Secretariat for Culture at the Ministry of Human Resources announced the “European Capital of Culture 2023” tender on February 20, 2017.

From the publication of “ECoC2023”, ten months are available for the preparation of Hungarian-language materials for the first round. This is then translated and the finished document is completed with a design that befits Eger’s values and image. The prepared material is then evaluated by a 12-person international jury after which, having received feedback, the cities invited to round two have another 9-10 months of work ahead of them: the integration of the jury’s suggestions and the assembly of the final tender package. The decision as to which Hungarian or British cities may hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2023 is to be made in the summer of 2018.

Mayor László Habis stressed that only genuine teamwork can lead to success in a tender of this scale; the basis of this is achieved through and faith in Eger’s assets. Anyone joining in the effort will be enriched with memories to be treasured for a lifetime, as they will be a part of a true creative effort. We are counting on the artists and all professionals working in Eger’s cultural sphere, and welcome any and all suggestions from the local citizens, too.

The Local Government is not aiming to draft an investment-based tender. The goal is to create one brimming with varied activities that build on Eger’s colourful, rich assets and which is endorsed by as many people as possible.

Mayor László Habis:

“I’m convinced that the cultural assets of our city need to be brought into focus. Two thoughts by György Kepes lend more force to this notion: the city needs to be viewed as a work of art, and we have to showcase the areas where culture and science intersect, such as the world of light art in Eger. Besides the performing arts, music and fine art, we also value filmmaking: we are proud of György Illés’ art and vision and of the fact that his noted and successful student, Lajos Koltai also maintains ties with Eger; he has been open to cooperation, too.

We need a tender of European scope to succeed and I believe our odds are good on that: Eger’s cultural heritage is a blend of historical assets, customs assimilated from several cultures, and a multifaceted religious history.

A clear and unified artistic vision and the strategy aimed at involving local artists and cultural agents behind the range of programmes needs to be highlighted in detail in the selection of cultural and artistic content. Also, new, integrative and innovative attempts re-envisioning traditional art forms and local cultural heritage need to be considered. To demonstrate the feasibility of the concept, the tender has to feature a practical and sustainable, comprehensive, long term financial plan on the part of local and national authorities to prove their commitment. In addition, applicants are to show a “fundraising strategy” that display possible tenders and putative sources of financial support and funding.

Unity not majority!

e General Assembly approved Eger’s Cultural and Community building Strategy

The General Assembly approved Eger’s Cultural and Community building Strategy in January 2017, which also incorporates the period after “ECoC2023”. This document contains our long term cultural, social and economic goals, including those of city development. Winning the title would enable us to realise these goals.

We are able to proudly announce that our project in Eger has gained its initial impetus from unity, and not a mere majority. It is of paramount importance that the city’s Cultural and Community building Strategy was unanimously approved at the February 23rd General Assembly. We are delighted at this, as the existence of this comprehensive document in itself is a precondition of applying for the “ECoC2023” tender for a regional centre. The document’s unanimous backing speaks for itself. No matter our ideological or political differences, we can all be proud of Eger’s cultural assets. We know and believe that we’ll be able to carry this forward to a European level of representation in a fitting manner throughout the tender application process.

Also worthy of note is the fact that the unanimous backing of the key strategy was secured at the same meeting of the General Assembly which saw the foundation of a press award in memory of György Mészáros who died 25 years ago. It was he, a hero of 1956, a well-known researcher, an illustrious cultural expert and journalist who created Eger’s first Cultural Mission Statement in the wake of the fall of communism.

Where are we now?

On two occasions, the City Hall has been the venue for wide-ranging discussions involving the heads of local cultural institutions and art associations, of NGOs, representatives of the Eger Archdiocese, Eszterházy Károly University, and creatives who hail from Eger and/or are active in the area.

The Local Government of Eger is hosting further discussion forums and professional conferences in the preparatory period, where local citizens, NGOs, and civic groups can weigh in with their views and suggestions regarding Eger’s tender application and the strategic aims of local cultural life.

We aim to draft a programme with the input and broad consensus of local cultural players and citizens. The delineation of societal links is an important element of the tender. The international jury will be placing a heavy emphasis on examining innovative ways in which NGOs, the local population and especially the young have been involved in the programme. Education, for instance, and the participation of schools deserves special attention.