Both cities have agreed to establish close cooperation in the implementation of the European Capital of Culture programmes for the year 2027 towards stronger international relations and closer and more practical coordination of the projects of the two European Capitals of Culture - Liepāja and Évora (Portugal).
Earlier this year, both cities signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between Liepāja and Évora, pledging to strengthen mutual cooperation in implementing the Liepāja 2027 and Évora 2027 projects.
A working visit of the Évora 2027 team and the Vice Chairman of the Évora City Council Alexandre Varela took place in Liepāja on 2 and 3 October to discuss practical forms of cooperation and the implementation of different types of projects.
"We are very happy with this meeting between Évora and Liepāja, two cities that are so different but which, curiously, have so much in common, and which share the challenge of being European Capital of Culture in 2027. These have been incredible days of dialogue, sharing and mutual learning, in a close relationship that we will develop until 2027 and beyond,” said Alexandre Varela, Vice-Mayor of Évora.
Over the two days, representatives of Évora learned more about the overall Liepāja 2027 programme, visited highlights of culture and tourism in Liepāja, South Kurzeme Region and Kuldīga, met with the authorities of Liepāja City Council, Kuldīga Region and South Kurzeme Region, colleagues from the Municipality Executive Office and local culture professionals.
"It's been an exciting experience. This visit to Liepāja has allowed us to broaden the common ground that Évora and Liepāja share, and to develop models of cooperation with a view to 2027. After deepening our understanding of the concepts proposed by Liepāja 2027 and Évora_27, and immersing ourselves in the cultural and artistic programmes of each city, we realised the similarities, the points of contact and all the possibilities that open up. Despite the kilometres that separate these two cities at opposite ends of Europe, there is much more that brings them together,” said Paula Mota Garcia, Coordinator of the Évora_27 Mission Team.
Even though both cities are located at the opposite side of Europe, there are many touch points, particularly in capacity building, the European dimension and other areas.
“Despite being located on the different sides of Europe, our programme concepts are strikingly similar. We are connected by the common thread that unites the vision of both cities - the desire of our inhabitants to live in a balance. Working with the Évora team proves to be very productive. We find Portuguese very easy to understand, open and with a similar vision of the way to move on with the European Capital of Culture projects. There are common challenges in Évora, Liepāja and the neighbouring regions, and at the same time the shared understanding that culture is the main driving force for the development of any community and greatly contributes to overall the socio-economic processes,” said Inta Šoriņa, Chair of the Board of the “Liepāja2027” Foundation.
We touched upon a number of potential cooperation projects to boost the professional capacity of our cultural and educational organisations by providing the exchange programmes for professionals and experts in these areas.
We also look forward to organising joint cross-sectoral cultural events with a particular focus on digital, educational, creative industries and other sectors.
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