The European Commission (EC) proposed on Tuesday to give Rijeka and Galway (Ireland) the possibility to extend their year as 2020 European Capitals of Culture until 30 April 2021 due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
Irena Kregar Segota, the director of the Rijeka 2020 company, said that the EC’s proposal to extend the European Capital of Culture programme had been passed to the European Parliament following consultations with the European Capitals of Culture from 2020 to 2024, including Rijeka, and that such a decision would be welcome and would open up an opportunity to realise additional programmes.
“Regardless of the European Parliament’s decision, Rijeka is trying to realise its programme as much as possible even this year. So, immediately after the lockdown was lifted we started with the implementation of an adapted programme and a great number of activities, which, I believe, many of our fellow citizens, but also all the guests of our city, have noticed,” she said.
She added that the EC’s initiative was welcome and expressed hope that it would be adopted.
Rijeka and the Irish city of Galway, as this year’s European Capitals of Culture, have found themselves in a really specific situation due to the coronavirus pandemic and any kind of support is important, including an extension of the programme’s duration, Irena Kregar Segota noted.
According to previous plans, Timisoara (Romania), Elefsina (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia which is an EU membership aspirant) are designated European capitals of culture in 2021.