As a European Capital of Culture, our topic will be the FLOW. We have several powerful reasons to choose this topic in preparation for the 2023 ECC year in Győr, and these coincide with our reasons for participation in the first place. We looked for a topic we could call our own, on the one hand, and contribute to shaping the future of Europe, on the other.
Győr is situated at the conflux of rivers. The history of the city can serve as an example in Europe, showing how the cultural stimuli accompanying the flow had been used for good in the past, how the flow of information is used in the present, and the perceived possibilities of the flow in the future. Building on its own history, establishing its cultural identity and future, the European Capital of Culture competition now gives Győr a chance to summarise, reposition,
and preserve for its posterity the message of its experiences and tradition that lie in the flow. At
the same time, these surveys can help us utilise the possibilities that are inherent in the flow and
in the geographical situation of the city even better. Thus, our first reason is found in space, in
our geographical situation.
The second reason is timing. Literacy, the carrier of Europe’s cultural history is moving from paper to the cyberspace during these decades for good. The information preserving the history of Europe and its lessons on the shelves of libraries and archives until now are being transferred to digital data storage devices. Much will be easily and more rapidly available all at once, and the overproduction of information can lead to a crisis. Europe’s future is based on the question of who, when, and how will carry out the selection and systematization, and whether or not the
information will be overt or covert. Therefore, we feel a historical responsibility to discuss this question today.
The third reason is spelled out by life itself – and though we have no means to know what it will be like at the end of the day, one thing is for sure: the present flow of people will have a serious impact on the future and culture of Europe for a long time. We must be prepared, simply because defending the European values requires that we be aware of them. The European Judeo-Christian culture and the productive coexistence of historical churches are part of the
foundation of what we can now call European culture. The collapse of this balance is a grave heritage of the 20th century. Because of its geographical location and with the help of its chosen theme, Győr considers the European Capital of Culture programme a possibility to cooperate and start a dialogue.
The fourth reason lies in our hearts, and this is the most cardinal one as far as the local citizens are concerned. Győr needs a collective flow experience, a possibility where each member of the community can feel its strength. Due partly to the flow of the workforce, an increasing number of local citizens are newcomers in Győr. The majority does not have generational roots and family memories here, nor real attachment to the city. One part of the population Győr will have in 2023 does not even know yet that they will live here one day.
The 2023 programme of Győr as the European Capital of Culture is also for the local citizens, providing a cultural and community flow experience that will define and confirm their local patriot bonds and their new identity. It is a chance for them and their families to discover the city that is theirs.
Apart from its own region, Győr builds its application concept on the network of European roads.
We have invited and will invite our regional partners to join in the organisation of certain parts of
the programme. Due to our geographical location, these regional project partnerships include three
countries, and we can build on the proximity of the capitals of the two neighbouring countries.
For a millennium, the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma has been a symbol of the successful European integration of Hungarians. Currently, it stands as an eminent example of culture, education, economy, and acceptance. Adopting the European value of an economy and a lifestyle aligned with the principle of an eco-conscious attitude is a vividly up-to-date message. The cooperation of Győr and the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma represents a
fundamental and pressing requirement of our times in several aspects. The interfaces of the ECC project focus on sacral heritage; the maintenance, renovation, and utilisation of listed buildings; education and ecological awareness. The building complex of the Esterházy Palace in Fertőd and its planned natural environment, along with its intellectual heritage, is a true European
asset. In its days of glory, the theatre of the castle had visitors from Bratislava and Vienna, its puppet theatre was a marvel, and its garden parties gathered the elite of Central Europe of the time several times, amazed at the music of Haydn. This complex heritage is an integral part of our application, along with the development plans of the palaces and adjacent gardens in Nagycenk, Galánta (present-day Slovakia), and Kismarton (present-day Eisenstadt, Austria).
The countryside of Szigetköz (Little Rye Island) and Csallóköz (Great Rye Island) is a natural zone region of Győr, the symbols of continuity in the flow. The landscape that vitalises Slovakia and Hungary with its beauty is a unique environmental treasure, an instructive and eye-opening example of the Earth’s vulnerability and desire to live. Its preservation is a transnational duty.
Mosonmagyaróvár, the gate of Szigetköz is connected to our application with the development of the base of the Széchenyi István University’s Agricultural Department and the fortress of Mosonmagyaróvár.
The cooperation with Dunaszerdahely (present-day Dunajská Streda, Slovakia) in Csallóköz is
based on geographical and political potentials. The city located in Slovakia has several ties to Győr, and apart from the projects related to our environmental heritage, we shall harmonise our efforts in urbanisation and work on our plans hand in hand.