The Mayor of Plovdiv eng. Ivan Totev held meetings in Brussels with the President of the Commission for Education, Culture and Sport of the European Parliament Mrs. Silvia Costa, with The Deputy Director General of DG “Education and Culture” of the European Commission Mr. Jens Nimand – Christensen, and MEP in The Commission for Culture in EP Mr. Santiago Fyssas – Aysel. At all the discussions was present MEP Mr. Andrey Kovachev, at whose invitation and assistance was organized the visit in the capital of Belgium.
The emphasis at the meetings was the award of Plovdiv at the competition for The European Capital of Culture in 2019.
“This is valuable opportunity for the cities. I am happy that Plovdiv will be The European Capital of Culture with the Italian city Matera “, said the chairman of The Committee for Education, Culture and Sport of the European Parliament Mrs. Silvia Costa, who is from Italy. “I know that Plovdiv has very good absorption of EU funds and I guess you are ready for the challenge in 2019. Now the purpose of this project is to invest not only in culture but also in innovations and other areas that will change cities for years to come”, she added. The President of The Commission for Education, Culture and Sport of the European Parliament Mrs. Silvia Costa congratulated The Mayor Ivan Totev for the victory and the team spirit.
“All the cities that took part in the contest for The European Capital of Culture are winners because we managed to attract people to it. This competition for us was a long process that led us to consider how to change the city through culture. We developed and implemented many projects – the extension of pedestrian zones in Plovdiv, inspiring a life of forgotten spaces, etc.”, said The Mayor Mr. Ivan Totev. He emphasized that during the whole process Plovdiv teamed up with Italian candidate-cities and recalled that our city became the organizer of the unprecedented meeting, attended by representatives of all cities of Bulgaria and Italy, who competed in the prestigious contest.
“You have an important and responsible task and I am glad you are here. The project of The European Commission for The European Capital of Culture is a huge opportunity and responsibility for your city and Bulgaria. This is a chance for Plovdiv to move to the forefront of the European map, the countries to get acquainted with the city and to become even more famous “- with these words the Deputy Director General of DG” Education and Culture “of the European Commission Jens Nimand – Christensen welcomed the Mayor Mr. Ivan Totev and MEP Mr. Andrey Kovachev. He expressed hope that Plovdiv will prepare for this important year and will be a successful example of European Capital of Culture. “In your preparation you will not be alone, we will help you and we will be always available when you need support,” said Mr. Jens Nimand – Christensen.
“This project of the European Commission makes cities visible, motivates the citizens and gives the opportunity to meet other cultures. We approached it very seriously, studied foreign experience, we created new contacts and furthered the previous, we traveled a long way. The prestigious competition motivates us to turn Plovdiv in an open stage, to create areas for culture, to expand pedestrian spaces, to make changes that reflect positively on the city” said Ivan Totev. He added that we began the realization of the scheduled priorities, so that Plovdiv will become a successful European Capital of Culture in 2019.