Situated between Mediterranean, Central European and Eastern European influence, Rijeka has developed in seven different countries over the last hundred years. Similar to small Europe, it has become a place of dynamic life, a symbol of libertarian spirit and progressive ideas, an open city that has always been welcomed by all.
In 2020, as part of the European Capital of Culture project, Rijeka is building and opening new buildings and cultural objects co-financed by EU funds and bringing more than 600 cultural and artistic and other events, involving over 250 cultural institutions and organizations from Croatia and 40 other countries in Europe and the world. In 2020, when Croatia presides over the European Union, the largest Croatian port, Rijeka, is the center of a rich national and European cultural and artistic program, the city hosting artists from the world, European and Croatian cultural scene. Namely, in that same year 2020, Rijeka is - the European Capital of Culture.
The Culture Program presents Europe and its specificities to Europe, and at the same time brings to the spotlight current European cultural and social issues. The three main programming topics were chosen as symbols of the interplay of the identity of Rijeka and contemporary Europe: water, labor and migration. These topics appear in a variety of ways in the program - exhibitions, performances, operas, conferences, concerts and festivals, guest appearances by international and Croatian artists, local NGO projects, landscaping, sculpture setting, book presentations, meetings and socializing citizens of Rijeka, the region, Croatia and Europe.
In 2020, almost 300 cultural programs were held in Rijeka with more than 600 individual events. More than 300 partner organizations are involved in organizing the program, with partners and artists from over 55 countries in Europe and the world.