The European Youth Forum announced last night (16th November) that the European Youth Capital for 2019 is to be the city of Novi Sad, in Serbia.
An independent, high-level jury, convened by the European Youth Forum, chose Novi Sad from a shortlist of five finalist cities for the EYC (European Youth Capital) 2019 title. Through an open application process, Novi Sad’s proposal aims to celebrate and empower young people under the “OPENS19” theme, and beat close competition from Amiens (France), Derry City & Strabane (UK), Manchester (UK), and Perugia (Italy).
In its year as European Youth Capital, Novi Sad will work to create more opportunities for youth, including a newly-formed ‘Local Youth Governing Forum’, which will enable youth civil society to input on youth policies. A year-long programme of initiatives looks to further empower young people to become proactive initiators of positive change, introducing innovative ideas not only in Novi Sad, but also at the national and international level.
The city’s motto of ‘opening doors’ symbolises the creation of new opportunities for young people in the city itself, but also in developing bridges with other regions and countries. The Novi Sad EYC year is committed to working on diversity, developing specific projects in the areas of gender equality, LGBTIQ+ rights, and the inclusion of refugees.
Novi Sad is a youthful city, with a youth population of 80,000, plus a further 80,000 students. The award ceremony took place in Varna, Bulgaria – 2017’s European Youth Capital – just ahead of the European Youth Forum’s General Assembly, which brings together more than 200 young delegates representing youth organisations from all over Europe.
The European Youth Capital 2019, as in previous years, will encourage participation of young people through the promotion of new ideas and innovative projects. During an EYC year, the host city holds events and projects designed to demonstrate the active, essential role that young people and youth organisations can and do play in society.
Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, said:
“Congratulations to Novi-Sad, European Youth Capital 2019! With their strong proposal for a year that will truly empower young people and create opportunities, we are convinced that they will have a successful year as EYC. We welcome their commitment to fostering meaningful youth participation and to building bridges between the local, national and international. All five shortlisted candidate cities’ applications were of excellent quality and so I know this was a very tough decision for the jury to make.”
Valentina Antic, coordinator of international cooperation for Novi Sad, said:
“I am extremely happy and proud of our city and our team, and want to thank all organisations that supported us and believed in us. Last but not least, big thanks to the European Youth Forum for giving us this fantastic opportunity.”