Cluj-Napoca the 2015 European Youth Capital

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It was evening and we were arriving in Cluj. A new adventure was beginning, we were going to try to discover Cluj-Napoca, a city full of history, preserved by tradition and kept the Romanian authenticity.

We were curious to find out why Cluj-Napoca seems so interesting from other people’s descriptions. So we got up, on the hill, and watched it in his entirety. We saw a great beauty, we discovered a city, we were conquered at first glance by the image of the once upon a time city. And that is why we decided to stay, to find its legends, traditions, attractions, special people, and surroundings. And believe us, it was worth it!

We were walking along its streets, we admired beautifully lit neighborhoods, but everything seemed to remain silent. The city was asleep and the tumult of the day appeared to have withdrawn in warm and loving places. Everything spelled rest. We were alone on the large streets and clean avenues. Slowly, we observed a passerby or a group of students who, with their joy, seemed to welcome us in the world of the wars of conquest of the Dacians, but also in our world, which continues the traditions of our ancestors, the one that keeps the glorious past of this part of the country.

They were also the ones who animated the city and prepared for more and more events and were the witnesses of an ambitious project. They were part of the Share community and had the mission of modeling the city in a beautiful place. They were the leaders of the European youth.

And as words aren’t enough and time is short, here we are in the world of invaders, hard wars, but also in the world of our voivodes. We are in the middle of thousands of students who came here for a high degree, in the murmur of the young and cheerful crowd. And from here on, all we had to find out was already discovered, as an easily usable bookmark.

Cluj-Napoca is a young city, as the title it obtained also says. The European Youth Capital is an ambitious project, a well deserved award but also the project of the decade for Romania.

The objective of the “Let’s SHARE Cluj” project is to train the local community into promoting our city

Why is Cluj-Napoca the 2015 European Youth Capital?

  • Almost 100,000 students are taking classes at the 12 public and private universities in the city.
  • The locals have the friendliest attitude in Europe
  • Cluj-Napoca is one of the best cities in Europe for a start-up.
  • It has the 14th fastest Internet connection in the world.
  • Cluj nightlife is constantly animated by events.
  • Cluj historical center is the perfect host for these events.
  • Cluj-Napoca contributes thoroughly to the global arts field and it is already an important name in contemporary art and for the young artists who received international acknowledgement.
  • Cluj hosts some of the most attractive European cultural festivals, either for music or film.
  • The connection with the most important European cities is easy.
  • Cluj-Napoca is included among the 10 most secure cities in Europe and is one of the European cities with the freshest air.
  • 265,000 tourists have been officially recorded in 2013 in Cluj-Napoca according to INS Cluj and 500,000 people live in the metropolitan area of the city.
  • Cluj is proud to have an active, strong and developing civil society.

And in the near future, the thrill of the city will seduce us with a whole series of events:

Cluj Never Sleeps – 24 hours of activities – June 20th – a project organized by SHARE Federation in 2013 as a “pilot” for this year. An unusual Local Council meeting had place then, at midnight, and this year the organizers are trying various collaborations with culture institutions.

The purpose is to make Cluj Never Sleeps the biggest cultural event of the European Youth Capital.

Day 15 – on the 15th day of each month the youngsters do something in a public place. For example: in January, during the National Culture Day, 50 buses were burnt with fragments of the works of 35 Romanian and foreign authors, both contemporary and classical, in 5 official languages of the Capital of Youth. In February, the theme will be connected to the “No Hate Speech” trend – an international campaign we are proud to be official members of through the European Council, the initiator.

Month of Young Musicians – a special project for Cluj 2015 of Transylvania State Philharmonics. The last concert: February 6th.

Francophone events – key partner: the Cluj French Cultural Institute – the launching of the Francophone program of the Capital of Youth (ALTERNATIF) took place on Saturday, January 31st, a concert of the French artist Arnaud Flaurent Didier at the Military Circle (all the tickets were sold days before the concert).

Volunteers Academy project – a number of 2000 volunteers is estimated to get involved before the end of the year in what Cluj 2015 will mean – a project that won Norwegian funding – approximately 80,000 euro.

Participative budgeting for youth – Com’On Cluj-Napoca – a special project because it is focused to informal youth groups – deadline for signing up: February 28th 2015.

DreamHack – international event dedicated to the lovers of electronic games. It will take place during the fall at Cluj-Napoca Polyvalent Hall. Four editions have taken place in Bucharest and the 5th one comes to Cluj for the year of the Capital – thousands of young people are expected to come.

As an example of the event range’s variety: 5-6 ecumenical events with over 2,000 participants will take place. They will happen in Cluj especially for the year of the Capital (example: The Catholic Youth Meeting), different religions.

TIFF, TiMAF, Jazz in the Park – Youth Edition, Electric Castle – Electric City: Youth Day, events with a many years tradition, will continue to animate the city and the public expected to come is quite big.

Cluj-Napoca is becoming a constant element in the mental map of European youth

Did you know?

Cluj-Napoca SHARE Federation is the structure that took the challenge of implementing the program. It presently includes 37 organizations and is still open.
Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 is a project opened for NGOs, but also for people (through the volunteer program – Volunteers’ Academy or the participative budgeting project Com’on Cluj).

Mission

The mission of the Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 program is that of strengthening the role and support given to young people and youth organizations for their active participation to social change through a process of sustainable, responsible and inclusive urban development process by sharing space, culture, strength, work, joy, vision and common European values. The one year program addresses themes such as youth responsibility, their support, mobility, structured dialogue and information.

The Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 program wants to put Cluj, Transylvania and Romania on the “mental map” of European youth. The program’s motto is “Share”, as it was stated in the application file that was declared a winner at the end of 2012.

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