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Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021: 9 platforms aimed at ideas and problems of young people
Klaipėda is beginning the exceptional year of the European Youth Capital 2021. The Lithuanian port city has taken over this long-awaited title from Amiens in France. The project is centered around nine platforms which are aimed at highlighting a range of ideas, challenges and problems faced by young people. Areas such as weak political activity, the ageing city, dealing with “uncomfortable” topics and people as well as lack of favourable environment for fostering entrepreneurship and creativity will be the focus of Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021.
The 2021 programme includes 67 events, 70 organisations and 133 ambassadors from numerous European countries as well as such distant locations as Pakistan, India and Hawaii, the LRT news website reports.
The title of the European Youth Capital opens up incredible opportunities not only for the young people of Klaipėda but also for the city itself. This is a chance to attract the attention of youngsters from other European destinations, to represent the city in the international context and to strengthen the identity of European youth. A diverse and exciting programme of Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021 will be launched with an opening event in March.
“2021 will undoubtedly be filled with joy and honour. But this will also be a year of great challenges and responsibility because the eyes of Europe, as well as those of many countries further afield, will be on Klaipėda. We will be expected to demonstrate surprising, clever, interesting, youthful, courageous and ambitious solutions. We have the responsibility of showcasing the incredible potential of Klaipėda’s youth as well as everything this city, the wider region and the whole of Lithuania have to offer.
It is both amazing and symbolic that the oldest city in Lithuania becomes the European Youth Capital in 2021. This contrast illustrates beautifully how combining maturity with youthful impetus, rich history and ambitious challenges can yield fantastic results,” Klaipėda’s mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas said during a welcoming speech to the organisers and participants of the European Youth Capital 2021.
The title of the European Youth Capital can be granted for two reasons: when a city wants to share its positive experiences or when it identifies the problems faced by its younger residents and is taking the initiative to resolve them. Klaipėda was awarded the title based on the latter approach. Contrary to the previous titles held by the city, the main goal of the European Youth Capital is to create an environment where young people would feel they are being listened to and are needed.
During the course of the project Klaipėda aims to implement an integrated programme spanning nine platforms, all focusing on the problems identified by the city’s young people as well as their achievements and expectations. Some of the challenges which will be addressed during the project are insufficient political literacy among young people, the lack of an environment that nurtures entrepreneurship and creativity, avoidance of “uncomfortable” people and topics, as well as issues around the city’s aging.
The European Youth Capital programme features nearly 70 events, discussions and initiatives. Seven major events will include an international festival-workshop Beach Art (July 12-18), an exclusive international 3D street art festival Art Gates (June 21-28) and a contemporary art and old traditions festival Gabya (July 16-18).
For more information on the European Youth Capital 2021 events and initiatives, dates and programmes visit: http://chooseklaipeda.eu/.