The joint visit of Eger and Leeds to Aarhus, Europe’s current Capital of Culture

The Danish ECoC city invited Eger as the sole Hungarian candidate for a professional meeting.

Botond Rázsi, Deputy Mayor of Eger, took part in a formal discussion in Aarhus, the current Capital of Culture in the middle of September. The workshop, where Finnish, French, Basque, English and Irish representatives were also present, was dedicated to the tender of “European Capital of Culture” and the sharing of the Danish ECoC city’s experiences of the role.

Eger, in its capacity as candidate for “European Capital of Culture 2023” was invited to the discussion by the town currently holding the title of “ECoC”. The event was also attended by the representative of the English city of Leeds, also a candidate for the title of ECoC in 2023. We have mentioned the connection between Leeds and Eger many times already: the two cities have forged strong links while working on the European Capital of Culture programme.

– Now – in the wake of several online conferences and face-to-face meetings – the invitation on Aarhus’ part was the cue for a joint discussion of the aims and possibilities of winning the ECoC title as well as of European culture – declared Botond Rázsi, Deputy Mayor of Eger. Former holders of the ECoC title also spoke at the conference, as did towns who had already won the tender, as well as those who had run, failed to win, but which nonetheless remain open to cultural cooperation. In tandem with representatives of the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission, they also emphasised the importance of the displaying of the European dimension in tenders as well as of regional cooperation. In addition, all parties suggested that the cities in the running prepare a “Plan B” in case their applications don’t win, as this would signal their commitment to the cause.

The Deputy Mayor also revealed that the meeting in Denmark was organised by the “LIKE city network”, featuring participants from 9 nations, with Eger being the sole one from Hungary.