On May 4, 2016 the opening ceremony of the “Ganja – European Youth Capital 2016” project was held at the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Ganja.
The address of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was read to the participants at the ceremony.
It was noted that “European Youth Capital” is an important project held since 2009. Speakers also informed the participants that Azerbaijan is both European and Asian country in the crossroads of civilisations and as a sign of this rich cultural diversity Baku was an Islamic capital in 2009 and Ganja became the European Youth Capital of 2016. The year 2016 has been declared “The year of Multiculturalism” in Azerbaijan and Ganja is one of the ancient historical and multicultural centres of Azerbaijan.
The member of the governing board of the European Youth Forum Lora Lyubenova and executive director of the European Youth Capital Network Andras Farkas noted in their speeches that Ganja’s election as a European Youth Capital provides the city with the chance to enlarge its international relations and thus serving to wider opportunities for the youth.
“European Youth Capital” project was initiated in 2009 by the European Youth Forum. The aim of the project is to develop cooperation of local and foreign youth organisations, as well as exchange of experience between the national councils of the youth organisations from the European Youth Capitals. The first European Youth Capital was Rotterdam (Netherlands). Turin (Italy), Antwerp (Belgium), Braga (Portugal). Maribor (Slovenia), Thessaloniki (Greece), Kluj napoka (Romania) were also European Youth capitals. Ganja is the 8th capital of the European Youth.