Galway, 05 April 2017

The President of the Republic of Croatia visited Galway, the European Capital of Culture for 2020

The President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović visited Galway, a city in the west of Ireland, which together with Rijeka won the title of European Capital of Culture 2020.

"Galway and Rijeka will be the European Capitals of Culture in 2020, I am confident that the cooperation between the two cities, but also our two countries will continue in the years and decades to come," said President Grabar-Kitarović during a meeting with the Mayor of Galway, Noel Larkin.

The President added that “The two ports, one on the Atlantic and the other in the Adriatic are connected by many similarities and specificities. Galway is a centre of cultural life in Ireland, with many festivals, cultural events and is a popular tourist destination. On the other hand, Rijeka is a diverse port and a centuries old cosmopolitan city that draws its strength from the rich tradition of interpenetration of both the Mediterranean and Central European cultures.”

She pointed out that this European project involving the two cities "is a perfect opportunity for transformation and additional promotion of both Galway and Rijeka." "Culture, along with the economic potentials that we have, will not only connect our two cities, but also the surrounding communities." In addition to the Cultural cooperation among the two cities within the European cultural project, the President is also advocating for a lasting cooperation between the two Universities.

Mayor Larkin, who visited Rijeka and other parts of Croatia, stated that he looks forward to working on the "exciting and ambitious program for 2020” and was surprised to see how many things the two cities have in common. He added that both are “occasionally rainy and windy cities that have dynamic citizens that are ambitious to work on the future transformation of their cities through culture."

After visiting the local authorities and the European Capital of Culture for 2020 project headquarters in Galway, President Grabar-Kitarović visited the second oldest university in Ireland. She spoke to students and professors at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where the current President of Ireland Michael Higgins used to be a professor. “The University has 17,000 students and every fifth student is from other parts of Ireland or from abroad.  These students have given Galway a new dimension, a dimension that I would like to see for Rijeka, a way to attract young people to come to Rijeka instead of just leaving. We have a lot of potential that we simply have to realize and Galway and Ireland are examples we can learn from" said the President Grabar-Kitarović (Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia; Photo Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Filip Glas).