On Friday, 14 April, in the Portuguese city of Évora, in the presence of the President of Latvia, H.E. Egils Levits, senior officials of the state and the authorities of the two cities, the Liepāja City Municipality signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Capitals of Culture in 2027 – the City of Liepāja and the City of Évora.
The two cities have committed to promote mutual cooperation within the “Liepāja 2027” and “Évora 2027” projects through diverse sectoral activities.
“It is important for all of us to understand that the European Capital of Culture is not just a story about culture – these won’t be not just city festivals or concerts and events. The extensive and diverse programme addresses topics and issues of importance to Liepāja and the entire Europe, encouraging people to change their thinking from “self-centred” to open-minded and cooperative, caring not only about the immediate environment, but also about the developments in Europe and the world,” said Gunārs Ansiņš, Chairman of the Liepāja City Council.
The cooperation is intended to increase the professional capacity of cultural and educational organisations and institutions providing exchange programmes for professionals and specialists in the fields of culture and education. It also includes the joint organisation of cross-sectoral cultural events, focusing on digitisation, education, creative industries, and other related sectors.
“We have already established a successful cooperation with Évora and, although the two cities are located at opposite sides of Europe, we have many common touch grounds, particularly in the context of capacity building, various mutual cooperation projects and the European dimension. Symbolically, we are like small boats in the vast ocean, supporting cooperation and pushing forward not only in regional and national waters, but also in the international domain,” said Inta Šoriņa, Head of the Liepāja2027 Foundation.
The Memorandum states that joint cooperation should contribute to the socio-economic growth of both cities, implement marketing and communication activities drawing the attention of the Latvian, Portuguese, European and international public and media, promote tourist flows between the two cities, and reinforce local identity. The Memorandum also establishes the need for both cities to implement cooperation projects with the public, private and non-governmental sectors and to attract financial resources from multiple sources, including European Union funds and the private sector.
This week, the Chairman of the Liepāja City Council Gunārs Ansiņš and the Head of the Liepāja 2027 Foundation Inta Šoriņa visited Portugal, as representatives of the city took part in the state visit of the President of Latvia, H.E. Egils Levits, and in connection with the fact that Évora and Liepāja hold the title of the European Capital of Culture 2027. The visit included meetings with senior Portuguese officials, among them President, H.E. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to discuss current European challenges and closer cooperation between the two countries.
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