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Nova Gorica and Gorizia will be named the European Capital of Culture 2025

The selection panel recommended Nova Gorica as the Slovenian city that will be named the European Capital of Culture 2025 (ECoC), together with the German city of Chemnitz. Nova Gorica prepared its candidacy for the ECoC 2025 in collaboration with cross-border Gorizia. The candidature slogan is Go! Borderless.

The city of Nova Gorica candidacy for the ECoC 2025 was the result of its cross-border cooperation with neighbouring Gorizia

The city of Nova Gorica candidacy for the ECoC 2025 was the result of its cross-border cooperation with neighbouring Gorizia | Author Nebojša Tejić, STA

The city of Nova Gorica candidacy for the ECoC 2025 was the result of its cross-border cooperation with neighbouring Gorizia; their goal also involves elements of urban – to be like one city, but with different cultures. The city of Nova Gorica has announced that in 2025, they are planning more than 600 cultural events and more than 60 projects with different partners. Within the framework of the projects, the city is bringing together 251 partners from Slovenia and 34 other countries.

"This means that the two cities, as a single urban area, have the opportunity to become an important point in the EU. In 2025, full attention will be focused on the Gorizia area, which is also the hub of the cross-border region. The award of the title is an opportunity for the entire region, with its cross-border dimension. The two cities will be the first capital of a region that stretches across two countries," said the mayor of Nova Gorica, Klemen Miklavič, after the announcement.

Moreover, he emphasised that in 2025, Nova Gorica and Gorizia will be the first capital in the world located in two countries. "This is of the utmost importance. The attention of the whole of Europe will be focused on us, and our aim is to show that it pays off to be connected across national borders, to grow together and join resources, because together we have immense wealth."

The Mayor of Gorizia, Rodolfo Ziberna, said: "I dedicate this victory to the citizens, the people of this unique region, who have suffered so much but have managed to react by creating a better future for young people. The European Capital of Culture title will enable us to gain new human and financial resources for the development of the economy and employment in our cities through cultural, as well as urban and economic initiatives."

Congratulating Nova Gorica, Slovenian Culture Minister, Vasko Simoniti, said he was very glad about the choice, especially as it involves a cross-border cooperation between two cities. Moreover, he noted that Nova Gorica was also in the spotlight when Slovenia joined the EU. He added that on a symbolic level as well, it is about the commitment that Nova Gorica will find its place on Europe’s map together with Gorizia as a successful, culturally-aware city.

The ECoC is the EU's most important cultural initiative. The initiative started in 1985 when European culture ministers, on the proposal of the then Greek culture minister, Melina Mercouri, adopted a resolution providing for an annual appointment of a European City of Culture. In 1999, the project was later renamed the European Capital of Culture.