The ECoC project offers a platform for cooperation

Život v Hlohovci, May 2020

Could a town like ours, despite not even having a cultural centre harbour ambitions to become a capital of culture? Many say it’s impossible. Many think these visions are naive and unrealistic. Nevertheless, people behind the project: Hlohovec – European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2026 are convinced otherwise and through their new website www.hlohovec2026.sk they are trying to convince other people from Hlohovec and the region that the opposite is true. It is designed to introduce the intent of the whole initiative to the public, and inspire them to take part in the entire process. 

„We believe in the quality of this project and we also believe in people of this region. We can see a large potential that can be further boosted by the ECoC. We are convinced that this is the moment, inspiration, moving force, that will move everything forward, so that we as a town or region could present the best of what we have to offer, not only outside the borders of our town, of Slovakia, but also outside Europe, “ says Veronika Moravčíková, director of Hlohovec town’s cultural centre, who is a key member of the team. In Slovakia, Košice got the title in 2013. In 2015 one of the European Capitals of Culture was Pilsen in Czech Republic, in 2016 it was Wrocław in Poland, this year the title is shared between Rijeka in Croatia and Galway in Ireland. After seven years, there’s a new chance for our country and Hlohovec wants to be part of it. “Getting the title of ECoC is a unique opportunity for the town, that could bring about positive cultural, social and economic influence. The previous European Capitals of Culture demonstrated that holding the title could be an extraordinary opportunity to regenerate and re-start the locality. It is a chance, for instance, for the towns culture hall to return to the cultural infrastructure map of the town, since part of the project is also development of the local cultural, transport and urban infrastructure. It also develops the cultural and creative industry, creates new job opportunities, and in the long-term promotes and supports creative environment for the town’s culture and arts, etc. We’re talking about 30-70 million euros from EU funds and private art funds that this project can bring for our town and makes it definitely worth our effort to succeed,“ explains Juraj Surma, director of the ECoC project in Hlohovec.  

We believe that the ECoC project, amongst other things, will inspire individuals, kick-start various forms of participation and cooperation and strengthen or produce new communities. At the same time, the website of the project www.hlohovec2026.sk is an invitation for anyone who is interested to become part of the project and to be present during the entire process. You can also take part and send your ideas until May 31st, 2020 and help make Hlohovec a good place for culture and living. Project intents will form the program framework of the town’s application. On the website, in section “Project Application” is a detailed description of six areas of interest of the European Commission, to which your project intent should relate. Anyone who believes they have a good idea can take part. It is also possible to apply with an existing project, if it meets one of the EU criteria.

Projects can be undertaken between years 2022 – 2026 and don’t necessarily have to be culturally oriented. It could be an event, development or refurbishment of buildings/sites, development of app or computer software. Your project can also be a painting, a sculpture, 3D print, or an offer for a student exchange stay, school project or a tool supporting local tourism. The activity doesn’t have to be associated with the town; the entire town region can take part. At first it is not necessary that a projects be submitted by an organisation. Even individuals or legal entities can submit project intents. At this stage, there’s no need to think about the budget either.

In June 2020 the projects will be read. Afterwards, you will be contacted with a request to finalise your project intent into a project application and we will connect you with a partner organisation abroad, with which you can start cooperating. Alternatively you can be asked by the program team to re-work the project intent into a form that will meet the European Commission criteria. In case that you can’t find an answer to your question on our page, don’t hesitate to ask via email at ehmk@hlohovec2026.sk.