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Nova Gorica/Gorizia 2025: It is time to live a diverse and free European life

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There are numerous cities in Europe which are split into two parts by a state boundary. One of them is Nova Gorica/Gorizia stretching between Slovenia and Italy. Their ECoC project labelled “GO! Borderless” is an initiative to erase the border once for all. Maja Murenc, communication manager of Nova Gorica/Gorizia 2025, explained how the project has helped to unite the city into one.

Introduce yourself as a team member and your city in a few sentences.

I am Maja from Nova Gorica and since I remember we lived a cross-border life. I was born in Yugoslavia, grew up in independent Slovenia, travelled the world and ended back in my hometown. I feel European and think that our common values are based on multicultural, borderless development of culture and its heritage. After our region was divided after WWII, Nova Gorica was built to shine across the border. Our history and culture is so different and yet so interlaced. My mission at GO! 2025 is to show our cross border citizens how to value & seize from this unique way of life and to show Europeans how borders are strongest in the minds of people. I think Nova Gorica is a perfect incubator for the younger generations to experience this borderless life in terms of mindset and of West and East.

What is your ECoC project about?

We are all about crossing the borders and limitations, especially the mental ones. Our slogan is GO! Borderless, always and forever. Our region has been divided many times, it is time to live a diverse and free European life.

What is the biggest change that the ECoC title has brought to your city so far?

It brought many cross border events, classes and municipality event co-hosting. But most important I think it is the consciousness about the richness & uniqueness of our cross border life in Europe.

If you had to say the best thing the project has brought to your life, what would it be?

Meeting many talented and visionary people, I feel privileged and humble that I can learn from them daily.

What is your personal “heart project” of Nova Gorica/Gorizia 2025?

The crossborder playground for children. I think that our children are the future of crossborder development and we need to build a better, multicultural environment. Our idea is to fight stereotypes and prejudices with smart playgrounds, where you can swing between Slovenia and Italy, jump and have fun without thinking about frontiers.

What is special about Nova Gorica among Slovenian cities?

It has always been influenced by the Slovenian and Italian side. Our region is on the crossing of the Alps and Mediterranean and this diversity can be seen in the food, music and culture in general. It was divided just under WWII.

There are numerous cities split by state boundaries around Europe. What would be your advice for those cities if they were to start a cooperation similar to Nova Gorica – Gorizia?

Use the differences as advantages, make a fusion of valued and unique content of each side of the border. Be united by the border – physically and mentally.

Describe the people of your city in 3 words.
Multilingual, cross border living, entrepreneuring mind-set.