Debrecen city was one of three Hungarian cities entered into the competition, competing against both Győr and Veszprém cities for the prestigious award in 2023. Unfortunately, Debrecen city did not win, beaten by Veszprém city.
An independent international Board made the decision, and the result was announced on the 14th of December, in Budapest. The decision was communicated by the president of the jury, Ms. Aiva Rozenberga. According to the international members of the jury, all three applications were strong, she said it was tough to make the decision. She justified the victory of Veszprém by the fact that the city could contribute to the heritage of the European culture.
Debrecen is in a very strong transformation phase in the area of the economy right now. Within a few years, the region will be a remarkably strong economic participant on the European scale. Debrecen can only become sustainably successful if it seeks versatility. Only one branch of versatility and sustainability is economic power. The other and – in some sense – more important branch which is closely related to the viability, the retaining power and the experienced simplicity of a city, is the strength, diversity, and quality of the cultural sphere. The parallel development of the economy and culture are the prerequisite for sustainability. For me, this was one of the driving forces in this competition. Even though Debrecen city did not win, it did win the title of EKF. Consequently, Debrecen will accomplish a significant part of planned the programs by 2023 – said Mr. László Papp, mayor of Debrecen.
The city’s program with the name of Sharing Horizons focuses on the development of European and local values through cultural interaction. The narrative comes from the fact that Debrecen lies in the center of the Great Hungarian Plain, which is also known as “mere” across the European Union. It is a perfect place to share our thoughts with our neighbors, open to the unknown, to look ahead and find our way, overcoming any obstacles.
The plan which shall be carried out
– Common horizons, this is the sound bite and short definition of how we can write down our concept of the program, this means nothing more than active cooperation with Europe. With the connection of space-time-spirit dimension of the “horizon”, we wish to make changes in six key areas, thus our programs are built around these areas: #LANDSCAPE; #MOBILITY; #KNOWLEDGE & KNOW-HOW; #COMMUNITIES; #PAST; and #FUTURE – emphasized Mr. Márton Méhes, senior advisor of the D2023 tender.
The D2023 tender does not primarily focus on infrastructure developments, as it has already given much to the cultural “explosion” of Debrecen. However, there are plans for the following:-
• Establish a Cultural-Creative Development Centre to manage the development of the culture and the creative sector;
• Establish four decentralized community art and cultural incubator centers: reconstruction of two thermal centers in Tócós quarter, renovation of the Borsos-mansion in Vén court, and modernization of the Fényes court.
• Furthermore, establish the b24 Open Art Space and Residential Centre with the transformation of the current b24 Gallery.
At the beginning of 2019, the city administrations will decide about which programs and developments formulated in the application will be implemented and will then be announced.