One hundred days from now, on January 21st, on the eve of Hungarian Culture Day, the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture (ECF) program will begin, the Minister of Regional Development announced on Friday in Veszprém.
Tibor Navracsics emphasized at the round table discussion organized on the pedestrian street in Veszprém: the foundation of the EKF initiative is to find the values that unite Europeans regardless of where they live. He put it this way: In Hungary, Veszprém and its region can show the most “essential Europeanness”. From the beauty of the landscape, through the education of the people living here, to the traditions, it is connected to Europe by a thousand threads. He also talked about the fact that the EKF program starts on the eve of Hungarian Culture Day. He called this a good opportunity to show: “we are Hungarian because we are European, and we are European because we are Hungarian”. Gyula Porga, mayor of Veszprém, said: EKF is a city and community-building program that will be truly successful if every local feels that it belongs to them. The program is already ready, but the locals can bring it to life – he stressed.
Alíz Markovits, the general manager of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 Zrt., said: in the past three years, Veszprém and the region have been prepared for the increased attention in the field of programs and infrastructure. Parking capacity and accommodation were created, online interfaces, publications and exhibition spaces were renewed in the cultural sector, and they were also prepared to receive international guests. Director of program development Friderika Mike said about their events: more than two hundred programs and series of programs are organized with the participation of 116 settlements in the region. They have also built national and international partnerships, and will also cooperate with two other cultural capitals of Europe in 2023, Timisoara in Romania and Elefszína in Greece. Friderika Mike added: traditional Veszprém and regional events are also part of the EKF program, but new elements have also been invented.
In addition to several other programs, the Holtszezon contemporary literary festival, which was already held successfully last year, will be held in February, the Petőfi Memorial Year will play a prominent role in March, Acticity will open in April, art productions from the partner cities of Veszprém will also be invited for the Gizella Days in May, and around four thousand young European musicians will be invited for the Pentecost weekend they are waiting in Veszprém. In May, the Színházkert will once again belong to the children, while an event venue capable of accommodating thousands of spectators will be created in the area of the former Balaton Furniture Factory. Next year, the region will host the Hungarian Motion Picture Festival for the fourth time, the Dalvölgy Carpathian Basin choir meeting will be held, young architects will be invited to the abandoned mine in Zahalálap, audiovisual programs will be organized in the former power plant in Inota, and an international meeting of violin makers will add color to the events in the fall – explained Mike.
According to the organizers, the projects have been classified into nine clusters – TeszVeszprém, Music/City, Living Region, Fragile Balaton, Rendhagyó, Hidak, Tükörkép, Jövő time and Celebration – which contain hundreds of programs or series of programs organized by them and their partners.