Unifying citizens through Culture: Timisoara capital of culture launch with Mayors Fritz, Decoster

Timisoara, focusing on the people’s influence on the community in which they live, kicked off their 2023 European Capital of Culture with “Shine your light! Light up your city’ as their motto. Our President François Decoster discussed with Mayor Dominic Fritz how culture can play an important role in municipalities.

Timisoara will lead the way in 2023 in showing how we can all light up the places where we live. As the European capital of culture, the city and its citizens also incarnates this European spirit through their Mayor, Dominic Fritz, part of our Liberal Mayors Network. A German national who came to the city to work with orphans, he learnt the language, stayed, and the people elected him Mayor 3 years ago.

Inaugurating the Capital of Culture Year at the opera house, where performances in three different languages – Romanian, Hungarian and German – are regularly held, he said: 

“Prosperity without innovation does not exist, innovation without diversity does not exist, diversity without respect does not exist, respect without culture does not exist. (…) Our mission is never to be cynical. Never to discourage. But always to build, to grow confidence. That is our invitation to Europe this year.”

Our President François Decoster, who is also in charge of Culture as Vice-President in his region of Hauts-de-France, had a fruitful discussion with Mayor Fritz for this occasion on the role of culture in municipalities – as Decoster has also reinvigorated culture in his own city of Saint-Omer as Mayor, and the necessity to foster a new dialogue between Eastern and Western Europe.

Timisoara could be a symbol in this regard, as three names dominate the city centre: union, freedom and victory – the names of the three main squares. And “Piața Libertății” has a plaque with the full Timisoara Proclamation of March 1990, a key milestone in the Romanian revolution against Ceaușescu’s communist regime. It was in Timisoara that the revolution began…

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