The one-day discussion entitled Cities for Europe – Freedom. Responsibility. Action was organized in cooperation with Riga 2014, European Capital of Culture, and with the support of Goethe Institute Riga.
Together with representatives of past, present and future European Capitals of Culture, with politicians and civil society actors, we explored the following questions:
– Can Riga be seen as a “model” for an ECoC?
– How can a positive process during an ECoC year be sustained?
– Can the EU have a responsibility after the end of the year?
– How can cities and citizens actively contribute to the European unification process in cooperation with political decision makers?
– What is the role of citizens in the development of democracy and preservation of freedom?
Participants included Māra Lāce, Director of the Latvian National Arts Museum, Ukrainian writer Andrei Kurkov, MEPs Arne Lietz and Inese Vaidere, Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, as well as Jiři Sulzenko, Programme Director of Plzen 2015 and member of the “A Soul for Europe” Strategy Group.
The discussions were accompanied by a “Marketplace Europe”: Projects and activities from different parts of Europe illustrated how citizens experience and strenghten Europe every day in their cities and regions. Best practice examples can also be found on the “Cities for Europe” website.
The Strategy Group was set up and its work is made possible with ongoing financial support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.