Andris Bērziņš


Rīga: European Cultural Capital 2014

Each year an international jury set up by the European Commission selects two European cities to become cultural capitals.  That is a status which speaks to cultural events throughout the relevant year, as well as pilot projects, improvements to the infrastructure of the city and the relevant country, increased flows of tourists, etc.  In 2014, the honour of serving as European Cultural Capital will rest with Latvia’s capital city and with Umea, Sweden.

The status of European Cultural Capital will allow Rīga to demonstrate the special role of Latvian culture in Europe, attract more tourists, increase the city’s influence at the international level, ad also allow the people of Latvia to enjoy, rejoice at and be proud about the wealth of our cultural heritage.

In support of this major event, President Andris Bērziņš has agreed to become patron of the Rīga: European Cultural Capital 2014 project.

On December 12, 2012, the President met with Rīga Mayor Nils Ušakovs, the mayor’s chief of staff, Iveta Strautiņa, Rīga 2014 head Diāna Čivle, and programme director Aiva Rozenberga to discuss preparations for 2014.  The President praised work that has already been done by the Rīga City Council and the council’s plans to involve businesspeople and NGOs in preparations for the year when Rīga will be the European Cultural Capital.  President Bērziņš said that this will make it possible for a very broad range of people from Rīga and the rest of Latvia to take part in the process.

On February 14, 2012, President Bērziņš attended a meeting of the “Rīga 20:14” club, where representatives of Latvian companies and associations, as well as representatives of foreign chambers of commerce learned about the major project which relates to the Cultural Capital status.  In his address, the President noted that Rīga has always been a community of many cultures, nations and minds, asking everyone to remember that and to emphasise the diversity of culture in Rīga and the vivid contrasts which exist in the city’s appearance.  Mr Bērziņš also called on the club to take into account recommendations from representatives of various sectors.  He said that he is sure that by bringing together the creative, industrial and multinational factors of Rīga, the celebration will be a major investment in the future of the country.

The “Rīga 20:14” club was established in April 2011, during the first meeting of activists.  The club allows everyone to take part in preparing Rīga to become the European Cultural Capital.  Representatives of companies are informed at each meeting about news about the process, and there is always a discussion about how companies can take part therein.  The fact is that this major project will benefit every company which is skilful at making use of the relevant opportunities.  Companies can also discuss their participation and partnership in the Rīga 2014 project under the framework of six thematic lines, as well as by supporting specific events during the year.
On May 28, 2012, Latvian President Andris Bērziņš met with the chairman of the Latvian Architectural Association, Andris Kronbergs, and the director of the European Cultural Capital project, Diāna Čivle, to discuss architectural and planning processes in Rīga and other towns in Latvia, as well as the goals and long-term missions of the “Rīga: European Cultural Capital 2014” project.
President Andris Bērziņš met on February 15 with the director of the Rīga 2014 Enterprise, as well as with programme director Aiva Rozenberga from the enterprise to talk about preparing for the important fact that in 2014 Rīga will be the European Cultural Capital. Less than a year remains before that year will start. The meeting was organised to focus attention on the participation of top Latvian government officials in cultural events during the course of the year. President Bērziņš praised the hopes, plans and achievements of the enterprise, also saying that foreign ambassadors have displayed a great deal of interest in the process. They, he added, must be provided with a great deal of information so that their heads of state can be invited to attend the most important events in 2014.
On 12 December 2013, the President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš met with the Head of Foundation Riga 2014 Ms. Diāna Čivle and Program Manager Ms. Aiva Rozenberga to discuss topical issues related to the ambitious event in 2014 and the role of the President of Latvia as a patron of Riga: European Capital of Culture therein.
In 2014, the President of Latvia took part in several events, including his address at the opening concert of World Choir Games. A day before the awarding ceremony of the European Film Awards, the President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš met with the organizers of European Film Academy and the European Film Awards in Riga to discuss the major annual event of the European film industry and its impact on the Latvian film industry.
On 18 December 2014, the President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš participated in the gala event of project Riga: European Capital of Culture 2014, when he thanked everyone participating in this significant project.



Rīga 2014