Six Slovenian towns submit bids for European culture capital title


Ljubljana, whose bid is backed by 25 surrounding municipalities, has set three goals for its culture programme: raising citizens' satisfaction with the city's culture offering to at least 90%, being listed among the top five cultural and creative cities by 2026, and building a new cultural identity of the region.

According to Nina Peče Grilc, who heads the team preparing the bid, the ambitious programme of the capital has been valued at EUR 63 million while the related planned investments have been estimated at EUR 121.2 million. All projects will be implemented regardless of whether Ljubljana is named the ECC or not, Mayor Zoran Janković said on 30 December last year.

The municipality is counting on funds from the EU's next financial perspective and the state budget.

Lendava, the smallest town vying for the ECC title, plans to carry out its programme in four countries and eight regions, being backed by Croatia's Međimurje County, Hungary's Zala County, Austria's Radgona, and several associations of Slovenians living in Hungary and Croatia.

Lendava's bid was also backed by the municipalities of Murska Sobota, Croatia's Čakovec and Hungary's Zalaegerszeg. The small town on the north-eastern border of Slovenia also received letters of support from various associations, including the club of former Slovenian ambassadors, the Murska Sobota Diocese, the Evangelical church and several towns that have previously held the ECC title.

The border city of Nova Gorica and its Italian neighbour Gorizia are vying for the title with a joint bid, which is seen as an opportunity for the twin cities to extend collaboration.

The project Piran-Pirano 4 Istria 2025 has been backed by Koper, Izola and Ankaran, as well as Italy's Trieste and Muggia, and Croatia's Istria County and the coastal town of Opatija.

Ptuj's bid was backed by 20 municipalities, and its aim is to transform the city, promote its cultural heritage and unite the community, while Kranj is stressing regional cooperation and aims to combine the urban with the rural if selected the ECC.

Slovenia has been picked to get the ECC title in 2025 along with Germany. Slovenia's second largest city Maribor held the title in 2012 together with Portugal's Guimaräes.