Every year, a European city is awarded the distinguished title of “European Youth Capital”. For a year, the chosen city has the chance to showcase its “youth-related cultural, social, political and economic life and development”.
The EYC initiative was launched in 2009 with the city of Rotterdam. The idea behind the project was to strengthen the relationship between European institutions and authorities, as well as encourage European objectives with regards to youth policy.
Among other things, the EYC initiative promotes the implementation of innovative youth participation projects. Over the last 5 years, such projects have included concerts, recycling events, fundraisers and a myriad of many others. Each year, the chosen city decides on its the theme according to which it will plan its projects and events.
In 2014, the city honored with the title of youth capital is Thessaloniki, Greece. It is the fifth European Youth Capital and it has chosen the theme of “Time”.
The notion of Time is definitely an appropriate one for Thessaloniki, as its history is one of the factors that make it so beautifully unique. Thessaloniki has always played a key role in South-East Europe and over the years has become a melting pot of Balkan nationalities. The youth and more notably so its students, are a major component of Thessaloniki’s population. The city is home to nearly 100,000 students and so it is safe to say that its youthful society is bursting at the seams.
“The city’s 2014 programme comprises a wide range of actions, carried out on the basis of four pillars: creation, participation, special social groups and new social movements. Those pillars will to define the actions, the interventions and the context within which the municipality will work and ensure that both the city and its youth will be fully prepared in 2014.”
Thessaloniki has already kickstarted its eventful 2014 programme with the Street Mode Festival which took place on the Thermi municipality central square. The Festival gathered more than 3,500 people and was an incredible success. The festival was “focused on youth and street culture” and during the day, many simultaneous workshops and presentations took place, ranging from parkour performances to graffiti art workshops all the way to “parallel DJ sets”.
For the month of February, the city already has more exciting events in store:
OUR SKY- ENLIGHT OUR LIVES
7th February- 26th June 2014
WORKSHOPS FOR AUTONOMY
14th February-11th April 2014
DJ CARNIVAL PARTY
16th February 2014
For more information about future events of Thessaloniki: European YouthCapital be sure to check out their website: http://www.thessaloniki2014.eu/en/