In 2023, together with Elefsina (Greece) and Veszprém (Hungary), Timișoara (Romania) took over the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture.
They join over 60 cities selected in previous years, both from across the EU and beyond. During 2023, the new European Capitals of Culture will celebrate holding this title through events, exhibitions and performances.
Timișoara is the municipality of residence of Timiș County, Banat, Romania. It is located in the west of Romania, close to the borders with Hungary and Serbia, on the banks of the Bega river.
Timișoara is the capital of the West region and the largest city of the South-West development macroregion of Romania.
The city has almost 400,000 inhabitants and has one of the most interesting multi-ethnic communities in Europe.
Timisoara is a city of friendly people living together in peace, with over 40,000 students in eight universities, a vibrant creative sector and a number of prestigious cultural institutions. It benefits from economic development, especially in the automotive and IT&C fields.
Timișoara is experiencing unprecedented economic development, due to the high rate of foreign (FDI) and domestic Greenfield and Brownfield investments, especially in the automotive, high-tech and IT sectors. In an article from 2005, the French magazine L’Expansion called Timisoara “the economic showcase of Romania”, referring to the large number of foreign investments, considered as a “second revolution” that the city is going through. In 2016, at the Romanian Best Cities gala, Forbes designated Timișoara, for the second time in a row and for the third time in history, the most dynamic city in Romania from an economic point of view and the best city for business.
The foreign capital invested in Timisoara comes mainly from countries such as Italy, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France. Timișoara has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at only 1.03% in 2012. Timișoara has a gross domestic product/inhabitant more than double the national average according to data from the National Institute of Statistics.
In 2016, the city won the title of European Capital of Culture for 2023. Timișoara wants to become a city where cultural excellence gives its citizens self-confidence and the power to cause change through participation and involvement.
To mark the occasion, on January 9, Vice-President Margaritis Schinas will attend a title presentation event at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, where a statement written by the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth will be read, Maria Gabriel. The event will also be an opportunity to review the past year and celebrate the 2022 capitals of culture, Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Novi Sad (Serbia).
The title of European Capital of Culture demonstrates the richness and diversity of European cultures, stimulates sustainable tourism and promotes the development of cities through culture. The title also has a long-term positive social and economic impact for both cities and neighboring regions. To be selected, the cities had to develop a cultural program with a strong European dimension, promoting the active involvement of the inhabitants and their communities.
European Capitals of Culture are unique projects that bring European cultures to the fore. Their aim is to bring people, cities and countries together through culture, and therefore contribute to strengthening Europe, in a sustainable way.
Since 1985, more than 60 cities across the European Union and beyond have been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture (ECOC).
European Capitals of Culture collaborate with each other, they bring people and cultures together. This cooperation and networking is expressed through a whole series of projects and initiatives with the mission to achieve a long-term impact for the current title year and far beyond. To strengthen this cooperation, a common moment is celebrated in the form of an official handover in Athens, Greece — the first European Capital of Culture inaugurated in 1985 and initiated by Melina Mercouri together with Jack Lang.