Following  a series of successful policy learning events in order to draft an action plan for SME promotion via ECoC, Timisoara is adjusting its original ECoC concept to the realities of the current crisis.

The following quotes from Simona Neumann, the Executive Director of Timisoara 2021 offers more understanding on the main challenges and current ideas concerning solutions. 

“In this period when we are struggling against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and trying to stop this virus from spreading, we are all facing uncertainty. First of all, because we don’t know how long this situation will last and how it will affect our daily lives. For now, we are in emergency state in order to help the authorities and the health professionals cope with the pandemic for everybody’s sake. The community spirit, solidarity and civic duty gain new meanings through a term we have never used for them: isolation.

What will happen to Timisoara 2021 - European Capital of Culture project as we are nine months away from its start? Will it still take place? And if so, in which form?

Starting from the vision of the European Capital of Culture - Timișoara 2021 - to create a civic community through Culture, to reach spaces and areas where culture reaches harder or has never been, to strengthen connections with Europe and the whole world, all this through the active PARTICIPATION of the citizens makes us conclude that this project has been hit in its very essence. The new challenges that the project has already begun to face, besides the diminished financing (which is not new!), are the restrictions regarding the number of people who will participate in public events, the global economic crisis that will follow, the reduction of the mobility of people (travel, artists’ movement), the increased bureaucracy, to name just a few.

Therefore, it is high time we start rethinking the way Timisoara will light up the city, country, Europe in 2021. The Timisoara 2021 team has begun working on new ways of implementing the cultural program within this new context. We will call on all our partners to support us in this new endeavor.

Timisoara faces a new challenge, but also a new chance to prove it can reinvent itself and can reinvent the Cultural Program for 2021 as the digital component, technology and communications will play an important role. We will need the involvement of all artists, schools and universities, architects, urban planners, cultural and creative industries, the IT&C community, and journalists to take part in this challenge. Everyone’s creativity will be important for Timisoara to shine again. Let’s stay responsible, united and creative! Let us light up the city!”

Simona Neumann
CEO/ Executive Director
Timisoara European Capital of Culture 2021

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