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ECoC Veszprém-Balaton 2023: The locals started to think more globally

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01-07-2021

The title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) was first awarded to Athens in 1985. Since then, more than 60 European cities have been awarded the title, among them our Hungarian neighbours and the twin city of Veszprém-Balaton 2023. Although the title will not be officially sealed for 2 years, the whole process of cultural revitalisation of the city and the region is already underway. The city of Veszprém is located in western Hungary in the Bakony Forest and its castle district is very similar in character to our upper town. 

That is why we were interested to learn more about the VEB2023 project and how the title can affect the life of the city and the region or its inhabitants. Rita Berzevici from the VEB2023 team answered our questions.

Hi, Rita! Could you introduce yourself as a team member of VEB2023 and your city in a few sentences? 🙂

My name is Rita Berzevici; I’m the marketing manager of the VEB2023 team. I joined the team in March and jumped into social media and website tasks. I enjoy working with so many different people/creative minds and as a hardcore local patriot, I am super happy to be a part of this great challenge of repositioning Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton region as one of the most important creative and cultural regions in Hungary. Veszprém is a wonderful city with regard to nature and built heritage as well, but honestly, sometimes it is a bit drowsy. We have to shake locals up and place our city and its region on the European horizon.

What is your ECoC project about?

Our slogan is “Shine! Celebrating creativity!” Therefore, our mission is to reposition Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton region as the greatest creative and cultural region in Hungary.

With our local cultural products, the city and the region will come to the focus of European attention, thus improving the image of the city, and in addition increasing the efficiency of the local creative industry and its touristic appeal.

We have core values which are reflected in our programmes meaning there are fundamental expectations to meet by every program/project element which is as follows:

Community building contributes to the connection of fragmented and non-communicative social strata.

Volunteering: involving the community and helping residents of the region to gain new experiences.

Tradition: supporting project development with an awareness for local values and plans to make improvements considering these values.

Innovation: stimulating cultural and economic demand for the region by producing new market goods and intellectual products.

Sustainability: we implement developments that help modernize the region in a way that serves the long-term environmental and economic interests of the region

Baumann photo

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

Locals have started to think globally and many new important connections and cooperations have been set up.

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

Moving back to my hometown and being a part of its greatest mission.

What is your personal “passion project” of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 and why?

The so-called ‘Street look management’ project, where we can support locals to open their unique shops in the city center that will bring people and life into the empty shops and into our beloved city.

If you had to describe the people in your city in 3 words, what would they be?

Drowsy hidden treasures.

Rita, thank you for the interview!

You can find out more about the whole project, its activities and cultural programme at veszprembalaton2023.hu/en.

Photo: Bálint Kovács Photography