Sepsiszentgyörgy joins European Capital of Culture program

A cooperation agreement was signed on Thursday between Veszprém and Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) about the joint planning and implementation of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture program.

European Capital of Culture program Agreement
RMDSZ Vice-President Csilla Hegedűs (in the middle) and Sepsiszentgyörgy Mayor Árpád Antal (on the right) with the agreement. (Photo: Hunor Kristó-Gothárd/szekelyhon.ro)

Participants of the meeting were greeted by the President of the Kovászna (Covasna) County Council Sándor Tamás, who emphasized that the cooperation between Veszprém and the Háromszék Region, including Sepsiszentgyörgy, had already been initiated in the 1970s in the field of culture, public administration, social issues and human relationships.

Hungarian Government Commissioner Tibor Navracsics joined the meeting online and said that the town of Veszprém is going to be the Culture Capital of Europe in 2023 jointly with the whole Balaton region and that they have been planning to sign this agreement with Sepsiszentgyörgy for a year now. “I am particularly pleased that two twin towns are joining hands in the preparation and implementation process of the European Capital of Culture program.

So, besides Veszprém, a little bit of Sepsiszentgyörgy can also become the European Capital of Culture through the joint programs, cooperation, meetings and connections.”

– said Tibor Navracsics.

In the name of Szeklerland, Sepsiszentgyörgy also applied for the European Capital of Culture title in 2015, but Romania will be represented by Temesvár (Timișoara), said Sepsiszentgyörgy Mayor Árpád Antal. (Editor’s note: initially, Temesvár should have held this title in 2021, but in October 2020, the European Commission decided to postpone it by two years until 2023 because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impacts on tourism and cultural initiatives. This means that both Veszprém and Temesvár will hold the title in 2023.)

Árpád Antal thinks it is a great opportunity for Sepsiszentgyörgy to work with Veszprém, and the town will, in fact, implement the ideas with which it had originally applied for the title over the next three years.

Veszprém Mayor Gyula Porga said that bearing this title means multiple duties, as they have to show to Europe the values of Veszprém and Pannónia and promote the Hungarian culture, too.

“The Hungarian culture does not only exist within the borders of Hungary but is also flourishing beyond the borders, and one of its flagships is Sepsiszentgyörgy.

Our 30-year-old twin-town partnership started exactly with a cultural cooperation, and this is a great opportunity to strengthen our agreement via community building and organizing programs together within the framework of the European Capital of Culture program,” said Gyula Porga.

The partnership aims to promote the Szeklerland of the 21st century across Europe, said Csilla Hegedűs, Vice-President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ).

Sepsiszentgyörgy and Szeklerland are not the past, but the future. And here we have an incredibly talented and pragmatic team

in the field of architecture, arts, theater,

design and even computer science that can impart all these values.

– stated Csilla Hegedűs.



Title image: Transylvanian Hungarian politicians in Sepsiszentgyörgy were joined by Veszprém Mayor Gyula Porga and Hungarian Government Commissioner Tibor Navracsics online on November 12, 2020. (Photo: Hunor Kristó-Gothárd/szekelyhon.ro)

Author: Attila Szoó