Klaipėda (Lithuania), is among the 5 shortlisted cities in the European Youth Capital (EYC) 2020 competition, that sees cities as protagonists of youth- related cultural, social, political and economic scenario all over Europe.
The finalists, Amiens (France), Chișinău (Moldova), Klaipėda (Lithuania), Timisoara (Romania), and Villach (Austria) have been evaluated and chosen by and independent jury. Their next task will be to submit, within the next two months, a detailed program to foster youth policies and participation, especially in the local contexts, for the potential EYC year. A second assessment will follow and the winner of the EYC 2020 title will be announced at the European Youth Forum’s Council of Members in Cascais (EYC 2018) in November.
Why is it important for cities to apply for EYC?
European Youth Capital focuses its attention on youth: taking care about them, will make young people grateful and ready to pay it forward. This is also a way to create a body of citizens who strive for a better future. The choice of engage cities in a contest is a way to stimulate them in trying their best to ameliorate the youth cultural and professional environment. Moreover, the European dimension of this initiative boosts also political commitment for a return in visibility and popularity. The direct stimulation of youth in the title year through events, seminars, meetings and other initiatives, is also a way to reach sustainable objectives in the long term.
The first-ever European Youth Capital was Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 2009, that won the contest with the project ‘Your World’ focusing on youth participation and talent reward. It was followed by Turin (Italy) in 2010, whose goal was to help young people being real actors of their own life, through autonomy development and entrepreneurship paths, because ‘The young are the present, not the future’.
The other capitals were: Antwerp (Belgium) in 2011, Braga (Portugal) in 2012, Maribor (Slovenia) in 2013, Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2014, Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in 2015 and Ganja (Azerbaijan) in 2016. The 2017 European Youth Capital is Varna (Bulgaria), which will be followed by Cascais (Portugal) in 2018, and Novi Sad (Serbia) in 2019.
Thessaloniki, with its lively youth community, focused on ‘Time’: time as regard to the past history, but also for future perspective in the South Eastern Europe. Four important pillars have supported the entire year, namely: creation, participation, special social groups, and new social movements.
The current European Youth Capital is Varna (Bulgaria), that strives for becoming a hub of social innovation as means for social cohesion.
Innovation is what Europe needs, and it is what will be evaluated in the five finalists of the contest. Thus, stay tuned and consult the website europeanyouthcapital.org