International Workshop for a Successful Veszprém 2023 Programme

An international workshop marks the next step in Veszprém’s preparation for the second round of the European Capital of Culture 2023 bid. Experts from Tartu (Estonia), Ptuj (Slovenia), Leeds, and Milton Keynes (United Kingdom) as well as European Capital of Culture 2010 winner Pécs visited our town on a study trip combined with talks.

On the invitation of Mayor Gyula Porga and Zoltán Mészáros, Managing Director of Veszprém-Balaton Plc, the members of the informal delegations took part in sightseeing tours, and subsequently discussed their experiences and recommendations in round-table talks.

In the break of the informal talks Mayor Gyula Porga told the Press: it has always been a major point of consideration in composing Veszprém’s bid that some of the problems our town has to face may also be significant on a European scale, as the same issues may be relavant to a number of other European towns of the same position. “We would like to learn from Europe; at the same time, we would like to show up an example to Europe,”  – he said. He then went on to explain that many experts attending the event represent towns (Pécs, Liverpool, or Ptuj in cooperation with Maribor) which have already submitted European Capital of Culture programmes. The other participants, just like Veszprém, hope to win this title later on. The two cities from the United Kingdom: Leeds and Milton Keynes were former candidates of the European Capital of Culture 2023 programme, competing with Veszprém; they have been barred from the contest as a result of Brexit, but are still delighted to cooperate with Veszprém.

Zoltán Mészáros, Managing Director of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 Plc explained that forging real-life cultural cooperation with several European cities is a key taget, and indeed, a key instument  to enhance cultural proximity between EU member states. He also mentioned that a major common issue for the convening cities is the long-term utilisation of implemented project elements, the regeneration of post-Socialist urban areas, and handling the drain of young populations. Mr. Mészáros highlighted the section in Veszprém’s bid to fill in cultural content into the Haszkovó housing estate and the castle district, and generally, to make city life more vibrant in all parts of the town, every day of  the week.  He also remarked that the Veszprém 2023 programme will include an international tender for architects to renovate the twenty-storey building in the centre of town.

His closing sentences were: an important and special element of Veszprém’s bid is that it involves the surrounding region in active cooperation; Veszprém competes for the title jointly with the Balaton region. The last examples for such a bid were Essen and the Ruhr Region (2010), and Marseille and the Provence (2013).